CITY OF LIFECategory: 2017, Climate, Current, EcoCity Edmonton, Grant
Paths For People advocates for safe, healthy, and connected communities by encouraging people to commute actively by walking and biking. Their work aligns with Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy goal of providing safe, enjoyable, and connected routes for active transportation to final destination or to public transit points. This reduces reliance on motorized vehicles and has the potential to directly reduce GHG emissions. Furthermore, traffic congestion is reduced, lessening idling and associated emissions. Paths For People supports reduced urban sprawl and improved livability by encouraging Edmontonians to comfortably walk, cycle, and use public transit to get to the places they live, shop, work, learn and play.
Designed on a collaborative model, City for Life will be a free public forum and a workshop of key community leaders. The forum engages the public to consider the benefits and possibilities of active transportation in Edmonton, the energization of public opinion, and a mechanism for like-minded people to connect. The workshop will unite leaders across disciplines to build relationships, exchange ideas, identify and prioritize key opportunities and initiatives, and commit to active transportation as a key priority.
The inaugural City for Life in 2016 with urbanist Gil Penalosa as the keynote speaker, resulted in an engaged public body willing to support change initiatives, and a focused and determined core leadership group enthusiastic about identifying and changing Edmonton’s streets to improve AT options. The minimum grid of protected downtown bike-lanes, incubated at that event and now scheduled for summer 2017 implementation, clearly demonstrates the potential effectiveness of City for Life’s reach.
To build on the momentum of the first event and to extend impact, this follow-up City for Life will occur in 2018 with the intent that it will become a biennial happening. The theme will be to motivate and expedite meaningful change. The keynote speaker will be selected to spark public enthusiasm and to offer relevant leadership, supported by specific successes, for motivating action. Workshop focus will include new idea generation and levering current programs including Building Great Neighbourhoods and Main Streets.