Gil Peñalosa & Connecting Communities

This is a guest post by Rob Zako, Executive Director of BEST (Better Eugene Springfield Transit), whose goal is educating the public about and advocating for a regional transit system that fosters prosperity, social equity, and a healthy natural environment.
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Did you miss international expert Gil Peñalosa yesterday at the “Connecting Communities” conference?

Watch a video of the full 3-hour event…
Watch Gil Peñalosa give a 15-minute TEDx talk

Gil is the executive director of the Toronto-based nonprofit 8-to-80 Cities. Their mission is simple and compelling: Everyone has a right to get around safely, quickly and conveniently. This includes 8-year-old children—maybe your own children or grandchildren—who are too young to drive; and people 80-year-old seniors—maybe you, if not now then in a few years—who have lost the ability to drive. If the young and old can get around, then everyone can get around. Making a community that works for everyone is democracy, it is equality, it is respect.

In particular, Gil says we need to design our cities for people who walk, as everyone starts and ends every trip walking, even if just to or from a bicycle rack, a bus stop, or a car parking lot. We need to design our cities for people who ride bicycles, as this is an inexpensive and clean mode of transportation that doesn’t take up too much space in our cities. We need to design our cities for people who ride the bus, as doing so uses finite road capacity more efficiently. And we need to design our cities for people who drive cars or trucks. We need to design our cities for everyone: walking, biking, riding the bus, and driving!
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