What is the one thing that separates you from your neighbors? What keeps you from going from one store to the next with ease? If you happen to be in any typical American city there is likely a beltway of asphalt between you and your neighbors that is, by purpose, not meant for people to stand in.
There is a new mindset in urban planning for walkable neighborhoods that are making areas less accessible by cars and, therefore, more compatible to communities. It's the very idea of why real estate values are typically higher around large, urban parks (just take a look at Denver's own City Park or Wash Park homes) or how retail centers tend to do better if the space between the stores is pedestrian.
It is also the idea behind an event being put on by Viva Streets tomorrow, August 12, 2012, on 23rd Avenue between City Park and Stapleton. Viva Streets is blocking all motorized traffic from 23rd Ave for the day (if your a motorist, plan head!) as a way to give communities an idea of what it would be like to reclaim city streets as a place for pedestrians to exist.
From the LiveWell Colorado website:
The streets will be closed to cars and will come alive with walkers, bikers, runners, strollers, hoola-hoopers, dancers, paraders, musicians, healthy food purveyors and anyone wanting to play in the streets for the day.
There will always be a debate of what is more important: strong communities or congested traffic. But with more and more people going pedestrian, a drop in the number of first time car owners, and an uptick in Denver cyclists, maybe it is time more communities start to re-evaluate what happens with all of the asphalt belts?
Between all of the economic, crime, community, and health pros and cons that streets do and don't provide, how would you feel about more streets becoming urban, pedestrian places?
Find out more about Viva Streets and LiveWell Colorado
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