Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Health Action Summit and Wednesday Haiku

As Elisa mentioned, she and I met a Pepper Place last night to attend the reception for a Health Action Summit on Improving Quality of Life. The speaker for the night was Dan Burden, of Walkable Communities. We thought it would be nice to share with you all some thoughts from the evening, so I've decided to give you all my notes. Scattered and nonsensical, but entertaining enough!

The pace of America is changing exponentially: time to build smart roads and smart transportation
Birmingham has great buildings, great block form, great street form - best he's seen (really??)
The first step is great LEADERSHIP (raise your hand if you hate LaLa)!!
Places to visit: Vancouver, Seattle, San Diego, Portland, Carmel
Up and coming city: Charlotte
"Bump into-iveness"
"reclaimed streets"
Trees, plants, ground cover - build an enclosure
Back up parking
Colorized bike lanes
22 benefits of bike lanes - only two of which are for cyclists
Cahaba road = eco-street

It was a great talk overall and really gave us hope that Birmingham is on the cusp of something great. But since I'm a pessimist, I tended to dwell on the negative things, like him spending half his time talking about parking and how it's great for business. Important things, yes, but it sucks that one of the only ways to convince people to change is to talk about the money. "It's beautiful, yes, but what's really important is that it's great for business!" And the first question after he was done talking: "who's funding this?" Sigh.

BUT BUT BUT

He said some really great things, and there were some pretty important people there, so lets keep our heads up, eyes forward, and hopes alive Birminghamians!

And on that note, I shall now produce the newest Wednesday Haiku:

Walk, bike, run, jump, sing
Take us to that magic place
Birmingham! Do it!

2 comments:

  1. Lol, but you see, if it's good for business then you won't have to worry about funding because the business owners will pay for it themselves same as they would pay for advertising or product development. There are a lot of good ideas that might get a lot further if they could sit down with a free-market economist for a chat. Of course it might help if we actually had a free-market, but what the hey.

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