Saturday, September 27, 2014

Two exciting Ciclovia/Streets Alive local events in one week--Oct. 28th and Nov. 2nd

Excitement is building for Lee County's second annual Streets Alive! event coming to downtown Fort Myers on November 2nd.  To add high voltage electricity to that excitement, we just learned that the founder of the international "Ciclovia" movement, Gil Penalosa of Bogota, Colombia, will be the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Florida Public Transportation Association (FTPA) being held in Naples, FL Oct. 26-28th--the week before our Streets Alive event!  There's no better way to get inspired and motivated for the Nov. 2nd Streets Alive event than to hear about the international Ciclovia movement--which gave birth to the "open streets"/ "streets alive" /"ciclovia" events across the USA--from its founder.
Mark your calendars and plan to attend both are the details:

Ciclovia Keynote Speech Oct. 28th
Mr. Penalosa was invited to be FTPA's keynote speaker as part of an effort to enhance FDOT's bike/ped safety campaign.  FDOT District 1 Secretary, Billy Hattaway, will be on hand to introduce the keynote speaker.  Gil Penalosa's keynote speech will be on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm.

 FTPA is inviting local officials and staff, as well as BikeWalkLee's broad network, to attend the keynote speech, and has set up a special "Keynote Luncheon Fee" for anyone that would like to attend.  To register, go fee is just $65 (includes lunch), which is nearly half off the normal one day registration cost.  (Thank you, FTPA!)

Gil Peñalosa, Executive Director, 8-80 Cities
Gil Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people, regardless of social, economic or ethnic background. Gil advises decision makers and communities on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for all: from 8 to 80 years old. His focus is the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as on sustainable mobility. Because of his unique blend of pragmatism and passion, Gil’s leadership and advice is sought out by many cities and organizations. As Executive Director of the Canadian non-profit organization 8-80 Cities for the past six years, Gil has worked in over 130 different cities in all continents. As former Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogotá, Colombia, Gil successfully led the design and development of over 200 parks of which Simón Bolívar, a 360 hectare park in the heart of the city is the best known; here he created the Summer Festival, with over 100 events in 10 days and more than 3 million people attending, making it the main annual recreational and cultural event in the country. Gil’s team also initiated the “new Ciclovia”— a program which sees over 1 million people walk, run, skate and bike along 121 kilometers of Bogotá’s city roads every Sunday, and today it’s internationally recognized and emulated.

Check out BikeWalkLee Blog's 2011 story: Ciclovia: Bogota, Colombia which includes a great video by Streetfilms showing the potential of this international phenomenon.

Streets Alive event in Downtown Fort Myers, Nov. 2nd:
The second annual Streets Alive event, presented by Streets Alive of Lee County, Inc.,  is coming to downtown Fort Myers on November 2nd, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The streets will be closed to motor vehicles and open just to people--of all ages and abilities--to have fun, get fit and eat healthy.  There will be a buffet of choices from hula hoop to meditative walks to dance to basketball to Zumba--and all the activities are free.  Of course, with streets closed to traffic you can create your own movement by walking, jogging, skateboarding, riding your bike and more!
 BikeWalkLee is one of the partners helping organize the event, and will again have its community engagement booth with multiple creative activities.  Come join the community conversation about making our neighborhoods more walkable/bikeable/livable. 

Stay tuned for upcoming BikeWalkLee blog posts on the event.  In the meantime, here's the link to the Streets Alive website, and links to BikeWalkLee blog posts about last year's event:

Report by Darla Letourneau

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