Keep Us On Our Feet
Walking cities are vibrant cities. And, to many of us, the reverse rings true also - having to get in your car or even motorcycle disconnects you from your fellow citizens. We crave human-to-human interaction - it's how we're wired - so let's make a concerted effort to keep us on our feet by maintaining and re-building pedestrian friendly cities.
The English word "city" is derived from the Latin "civitas" - citizen. In short: a city is only as good as its people, and a vibrant city is only as vibrant as its people. Keep Us On Our Feet is an effort to make and keep our cities walkable. The more time we spend in cars and motorcycles, the more disconnected we are from each other. Walking is positively correlated to better physical and mental health. Some of the most desirable places to live are also some of the most walkable cities. People are the drivers of economic growth, as both consumers and producers, so let's get and keep them there.
New York's High Line park - a pedestrian dreamscape
Every day in Mumbai...the traffic.
What resources (money, time, people, technology, etc) will your concept need to be successful?
To be successful, Keep Us On Our Feet needs collaborators, urban planners, transportation engineers and active citizens (there's that word again) in the focus cities. At this stage, it needs the OpenIDEO community to help me source the best examples of cities where walking has reclaimed (or maintained) its primacy as a driver of social and economic well being. New York, San Francisco, Boston, London, Tokyo...where else? What makes these cities walkable? What about their walkability is driving economic growth?
How can your idea be scaled so that it's implemented in cities around the world?
One step at a time...pun intended. The cities where Keep Us On Our Feet will make the most difference are, ironically, some of the most vibrant - Delhi, Mumbai, Nairobi, Accra, Lagos. These developing world megacities are growing and, in many cases, are already economic powerhouses. But they are among the least walkable, least livable places. Beyond the obvious - infrastructure investments, public transport - what do we need to do to encourage walking and maintain that vibrancy as these cities grow and mature?