Speakers addressed the question: Is now the right time to rethink street design to favor people over cars?
They discussed the international trend of “open streets,” (also called “slow streets”) and the movement to reclaim streets from cars for people to sit, dine, learn, exercise, and build community. Speakers addressed whether these street reinvention efforts are a passing fad or whether they offer a window into the Jacobian urbanist's dream of a future of dense livable cities.
Speakers also addressed moments of trial and error in pandemic-related open streets efforts. Questions remain about whether city planners can utilize open street design to improve the experiences of low-income communities, people of color, people with disabilities, or people experiencing homelessness. Some community members have questioned who is able to enjoy the benefits of open streets. New York City was criticized for a heavy police presence associated with an early roll out of an open streets effort. Watch this robust discussion about how to reclaim streets in a smart, equitable, and long-lasting way.
Panelists: (slides linked in Documents Section below)
- Moderator: Mollie, Policy Director, 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program
- Nico Larco, Professor and Director, Urbanism Next Center, and Sustainable Cities Initiative, University of Oregon
- Chisara Brown, Complete Streets City Planner, City of Detroit
- Kea Wilson, Senior Editor, Streetsblog USA