Open Streets Day partners link urban needs with bottom-up solutions
In just over two months, on 22 September, urban areas in various European cities will be redesigned for Open Streets Day. The transformed car-free spaces will welcome residents to play, dance, cycle and experience their city from a new perspective.
An interesting article recently published on Quartzy explores the evidence which shows that in cities with the longest life expectancy, residents do not actively pursue opportunities for physical activity. Instead, the infrastructure naturally invites them to be active.
Over the past few years, Brussels has experienced considerable progress on its way to becoming that kind of city. With improved cycle paths and open street events, Brussels keeps encouraging sustainable commuting and recreational physical activity among its 11 million population. That is why it was chosen as the site for the Open Streets Day project kick-off meeting.
“There is so much more to the Open Streets idea than just letting people play on the streets. It is about bringing communities, neighbours, friends and families together and showing them what they can do with so little – just the public space. Let's make them fall in love with simple activities and make them believe that cities are open for all – and that it's up to us how we use them,” says Anna Cichocka from V4Sport, Poland, who was part of the meeting as an ISCA member and NowWeMOVE campaign coordinator for Poland.
25 participants, including NowWeMOVE national coordinators, municipality representatives and ISCA staff, spent two productive days sharing their ideas for Open Streets Day events, as well as discussing potential obstacles and ways to overcome them. Similar open streets events or car-free days have, of course, been done before, so the participants were eager to exchange advice and showcase successful examples.
“Open Street Day is a special event connecting many urban needs with different solutions and having an important global impact. Any city, small or big, can join and get information, useful tools and communication resources to create its own Open Street Day. Joining a European event is also a great opportunity to be part of a network of cities that will be working on the same project, which makes it possible to connect with other organisers, see their plans and get in touch with them,” states Andreu Demidoff.
Everybody is welcome to get involved in the project and organise their own special open street event for the community. Learn more about the Open Streets Day project on the website and register to take part.
Join the official Facebook event to keep being updated on new locations and inspiring examples.