"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Walk Denver

Location: Denver, CO

Website: www.walkdenver.org

WalkDenver creates and advocates for quality walkable built environment that fosters healthy lifestyle and economic growth.

Our vision for Denver is to become a network of well-connected neighborhoods that are people-focused, culturally vibrant, active, and economically thriving.

We recognize that walking is the most basic form of transportation. We are all pedestrians “by design” and being able to walk safely is a basic human right.

WalkDenver promotes walking as the most sustainable form of transportation. No resources (other than a pair of shoes) are needed to allow people to travel as pedestrians. Therefore pedestrian impact on the environment is minimal.

Walking is a social activity. People like to be surrounded by other human beings; walking allows for opportunity to “bump into” an old friend, a conversation, an observation, and a participation in activity.

Walking is the most basic, free and easy form of exercise. When integrated into an everyday lifestyle walking can provide enough activity to maintain a healthy weight and reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease. Outdoor activity and human interaction associated with walking contributes to better mental health.

Pedestrians are also the ones that shop, dine and spend money. Pedestrianism is an economic driver. Creating pedestrian oriented districts leads to higher retail revenue and increased commercial activity.

The benefits of walking are numerous and WalkDenver advocates that pedestrians are given priority in public and private infrastructure investments.

There are several elements that contribute to positive pedestrian experience but the most important one is safety. Safety is determined by the quality of infrastructure and amenities. Sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, lighting, way finding, landscaping and street furniture contribute to physical environment that is necessary for perception of safety and comfort.

WalkDenver advocates for inclusion of pedestrian safety measures in the city design standards. We monitor that the standards are included in project budgets and implemented. We also ensure that the maintenance standards are enforced.

Pedestrian experience goes beyond safety. Pedestrian destinations, retail stores, coffee shops, active recreation opportunities are necessary to make walking FUN! Vibrant streets, plazas and waterfronts are elements that draw peoples’ activity. Farmers’ markets, art districts, shopping malls are places that are successful because they are pedestrian friendly.

WalkDenver advocates for creating pedestrian districts connected by a network of safe streets, bike trails and public transit.

We recognize that Denver is a great city with even bigger potential. Our downtown framed by pockets of local neighborhood activity is an ideal foundation for creating a pedestrian oriented city. Our neighborhoods build on the grid of streets provide a good framework for pedestrian activity. At WalkDenver, we believe that Denver has a potential to become a model walkable, livable and sustainable city that others will follow.

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