May 28, 2009

SFU lecture June 8: Walking Around the World, and Car Free Day

Walking at UBC

I’m going to miss out on this, I think, because it’s also World Oceans Day on June 8 and the World Oceans Day event I’m attending conflicts in time, but I wanted to pass this on for the rest of you. There are a few spots left I think, so register quickly!

Walking Around the World: Innovation and inspiration for Designing, Engineering and Planning our Cities

Dr. Rodney Tolley with Bronwen Thornton, Walk 21

June 8, 7 pm at UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver

Reservations required: Call 778-782-5100 or email

“The obesity epidemic, congestion, pollution, peak oil and climate change are just five of the imperatives that demand we walk more — and walk more often. Yet the barriers to walking have intensified in recent years. This presentation will show how streets around the world are being opened up again to people on foot, with spectacular benefits for our personal health, and the health of our cities, our communities and our children.” (SFU City Program | PDF Flyer)

Most of the lectures in this series have been excellent. It’s encouraging to see what measures other cities like Copenhagen and Portland are doing for their cyclists and public transportation, coupled with the human-scale, people-oriented city planning that results in such beautiful, green, usable spaces. Most of the walkability issues in Metro Vancouver, I think, are in the suburbs outside of the City of Vancouver but the City could be a more progressive model for the rest of our municipalities.

I’m looking forward to the completion of the Carrall Street Greenway, although as someone pointed out at TransLink’s Be Part of the Plan public consultation website, it’s not quite the ideal European standard. It looks great nonetheless and will hopefully spur more of its kind. Granville St is also undergoing a transformation as a public space that I’m not sold on yet — especially that mass tree removal! — so I will await the results this fall.

Lastly, in a similar theme, Car Free Day is Sunday, June 14! There are four awesome locations from which to choose. Last year on Main St was wonderful, and I hear this year it’s been extended all the way to King Ed — that’s an incredible 13 blocks! Now, I wonder if I can visit all four in one day?