Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An experiment in global networking

Photo by Gordon Walek

A group of Chicagoans traveled to Quito, Ecuador, two weeks ago to learn about the Latin American phenomenon of ciclovias, the closing of city roads on Sundays to open them up for cyclists, pedestrians and healthy family activities.

Thousands turn out for these events in Quito; Bogota, Colombia; Guadalajara, Mexico; and other cities, and this weekend Chicago is getting in on the action with its first Sunday Parkways event, running from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on five miles of the city's boulevard system. See the route here.

How do you learn more about how these things work? Going to Quito for the Third Annual conference of the Ciclovias Unidas de Las Americas was a great way to start. I'm told that the Chicago contingent of community leaders, biking activists, police and city officials got some seat-of-the-pants experience on borrowed bikes, and made plenty of new contacts. (The trip was funded by the MacArthur Foundation's International Connections Fund, for this very purpose.)

But we want to keep things going, so we've launched a global networking experiment with a web site that allows anyone who wants to join in and post related videos, photos, discussion and questions. Check it out here, and please sign up and start contributing, including your impressions and videos or photos from the Sunday Parkways events on Oct. 5 and 26. Join us.

1 comment:

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