About the Post

Author Information

The Clean Air Partnership is a registered charity, founded in 2000. Our mission is to work with partners to achieve clean air, facilitate the exchange of ideas, advance change and promote and coordinate implementation of actions that improve local air quality.

Experiencing the City in New Ways

This past Sunday (August 17th), important transportation arteries were closed to allow for pedestrians to roam major streets downtown without the hinderance of vehicles. The focus of the road closures were to allow residents of the city a chance to socially interact with their urban environments in ways that they normally wouldn’t. Further, the idea, promoted by Open Streets TO, to close major roads and streets was to “focus on promoting physical activity and exploring the city in healthy and fun ways.” In fact, according to the Open Streets TO website, Open Streets Toronto is the largest free recreational program of its kind, a program that is geared towards connecting Toronto’s diverse “neighbourhoods and people.” 

The concept of Open Streets programs started in Medellin, Columbia. From there, Open Streets has become a global phenomenon, with many major cities such as New York, Ottawa, and Guadalajara, Mexico participating in their own ways, reflective of their city’s transportation ebbs and flows. 

fda0f6_d3e729e2d50f43b9920397849f503cba.jpg_srz_p_433_260_75_22_0.50_1.20_0On August 17th, sections of Bloor and Yonge streets were closed from 8 AM to 12 noon to huge success. The benefits found in Open Streets programs is that it is good for local businesses, helps foster healthy community relationships, civic-building, and pedestrian health. Also seemingly hidden benefits from programs such as these is that it creates a new “modus operandi” in how city neighbourhoods and communities interact in a more pedestrian friendly way. CAP has touched on how protected bike lanes and TCAT’s It’s Your Move campaign is helping transform cities into more liveable communities, and Open Streets TO is taking that concept to the next level. 

If you missed out on exploring Toronto in a new way on August 17th, due to the earliness of the program (it was operating from 8 – 12 noon on a Sunday), Open Streets TO is hosting another Open Streets program on August 31st. And if you want to experience more events such as Open Streets TO, other organizations hosts pedestrian friendly street programs in the GTA. Some links of those events can be found below. To close, here’s a video from the Open Streets TO website explaining the concept behind Open Streets TO.

 

Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market

Walk Friendly Ontario

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: