Active Towns podcast

Active Towns

John Simmerman

Conversations about Creating a Culture of Activity: Profiling the people, places, programs, and policies that help to promote a culture of activity within our communities.

97 Episódios

  • Active Towns podcast

    Starting with the Green Parts w/ Victor Dover

    1:15:16

    Show Notes:This episode has been produced as a video with some rich visuals, so to get to the full experience click on this linkLanding page for this episodeThis episode has been produced as a video with some rich visuals, so to get to the full experience click on this linkVictor Dover made the move from Alexandria, VA to Miami to co-launch the firm Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning with his business partner Joe Kohl some 34 years ago. Victor is a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and has worked for many public agencies, developers, and citizen groups to create appropriate methods of land development regulations.The two main inter-related themes Victor presents in this episode are when planning a community, start first with the “green parts”, the parks, greenways, and parkways and then shape the rest of the city around these accordingly and second, street design is the thing we can least afford to get wrong. It becomes obvious how these two themes are intimately related when we consider that our streets should be traffic-calmed people-oriented places, featuring beautiful tree canopies, frequently referred to as the lungs of the city.And speaking of street design, that happens to be the title of the fabulous book Victor co-wrote along with John Massengale seven years ago and the truly big, breaking news is that Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns will be coming out as new, completely refreshed second edition in 2022. Here’s the first edition link if you can’t wait and want to get the original, which is highly recommended.We also discuss the need to make our streets safe and inviting for “All Ages & Abilities” across all mobility modes drawing inspiration from Dutch cycling network design and from public spaces in Copenhagen and other beloved cities in Europe as well as historic places right here in the United States such as Alexandria, VA, Charleston, SC, and even Buffalo, NY.We talk about normalizing the act of riding a bike to carry our everyday activities by creating environments that are comfortable for everyone through the implementation of protected and separated infrastructure paired with ultra-low speed shared spaces.Additional Helpful Links:Dover Kohl YouTube Channel – for an entire series of brilliant guidanceBarnes Dance or Pedestrian ScrambleCities Aren't Loud, Cars Are Loud - NJB videoDesigning Cities by Starting with the Green Parts - Frederick Law OlmstedThe Underline TrailLudlam TrailEast Coast GreenwayMiami Dade Parks Foundation - #LiveAParkLife National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA)Missoula Montana Downtown Master Plan and the Dover Kohl UpdateBenton MacKaye - helped pioneer the idea of land preservation for recreation and conservation purposesGabe Klein - a good on article about GabeIncremental Development AllianceRoss Chapin: Pocket Neighborhoods - Our Episode featuring Ross and our award winning video on Pocket NeighborhoodsClimate Planner book by Jason KingSteve Wright - a writer advising on issues of accessibilityShow Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe!Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
  • Active Towns podcast

    Demystifying Edge Lane Road Bike Facilities w/ Michael Williams

    49:19

    Show Notes:Our YouTube video version of this episode for the full visual experienceLanding Page for this episode When we think of the safe and inviting cycle networks in The Netherlands and in Copenhagen, what likely comes to mind are the protected and separated cycle tracks and bike lanes. But these typically only account for 30-40% of the typical city cycling network, the rest, the majority of the networks are comprised of different forms of shared space including Woonerfs (ultra-slow speed streets), Feitsstraats (or bicycle priority streets), and even Edge Lane Roads also commonly known in some locations as Advisory Bike Lanes.Michael Williams has taken upon himself during his self-proclaimed third career to be the pied piper of Edge Lane Roads here in North America. I wanted to talk with him about ELR's and how he became fascinated with them because I too have been intrigued by these often forgotten and misunderstood cycle network infrastructure treatments.The design of these facilities is almost too simple and they work. The safety profile of the Dutch, Danish and even North American installations is extremely encouraging. Given what I've seen, I believe we will see many more cities decide to adopt these facilities in the future.For more information on all things Edge Lane Roads please visit Michael's website here: https://www.advisorybikelanes.com/The Ottawa video: https://youtu.be/0zdDIvKXMxYThe New Hampshire video: https://vimeo.com/198050122Vail Advisory Bike Lane featured in this recent ITE report: https://www.ite.org/technical-resources/topics/transportation-safety/pedestriian-safety-month/A report Michael helped contribute to: https://transweb.sjsu.edu/sites/default/files/1925-Pande-Safety-Edge-Lane-Roads.pdfThe Active Towns video on Vail's Gore Valley Trail (mentioned by John in the episode): https://vimeo.com/177494585Comments provided by Michael about the safety data he mentioned in the episode: "The study on US ELR safety looked at crash data on 11 ELRs all over the country that had been installed for at least 3 years. Crash data for the 5 years previous to the installation was used in an Empirical Bayes analysis (the gold standard for this type of analysis according to the Highway Safety Manual). The complete report is available at https://transweb.sjsu.edu/research/1925-Safety-Edge-Lane-Roads. Aggregated results over these 11 facilities showed a 44% crash rate reduction in motor vehicle crashes. Data was not available to evaluate safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. Reduced vehicular speeds, lower crash rates, horizontal separation of VRUs and cars all point to a safer, more comfortable environment for vulnerable road users."Show Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe!Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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    Active People, Healthy Nation w/ CDC Branch Chief, Ken Rose

    38:27

    Show Notes:Active Towns landing page for this episode - for access to photos, videos, and additional contentActive People, Healthy Nation℠ is a national initiative led by CDC to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. Increased physical activity can improve health, quality of life, and reduce health care costs. These improvements can help reduce the risk of at least 20 chronic diseases and conditions and provide effective treatment for many of these conditions. Other potential benefits include better school performance and improved military readiness. Building active and walkable communities can help support local economies, result in less air pollution, and create more cohesive communities.Additional Helpful Links:Strategies to Increase Physical ActivityEveryone Can Be Involved – What’s Your Role?Data, Trends and MapsPhysical Activity Fact Sheets and InfographicsPhysical Activity BasicsPhysical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd EditionState and Community Health Media Center#activepeople hashtag for social mediaProclamation templateemail: activepeople@cdc.govSafe Routes to Schools Report CardActivity-Friendly Routes to Everyday Destinations - Complete StreetsTide to TownShow Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe!Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
  • Active Towns podcast

    All Ages, Abilities, and Identities w/ Cara Seiderman

    53:03

    Show Notes:Active Towns Landing Page for this Episode to access photos and videosIn June 2021, the City of Cambridge published Cambridge Bicycle Plan 2020, an update to the 2015 Cambridge Bicycle Plan: Toward a Bikeable Future. The Bicycle Plan lays out a vision for where they as a City want to be, with the guiding principle to enable people of all ages, abilities, and identities to bike safely and comfortably throughout Cambridge. It provides the framework for developing a network of bicycle-friendly streets and supporting programs and policies that will help meet this goal.In this episode, John and Cara discuss some of the history and context behind the efforts to make walking and biking easier, safer, and more comfortable in the city. Cara also provides an update on the newly rewritten bike plan and she highlights some of the new infrastructure and programming being initiated. Ultimately Cambridge is a fabulous example for other cities to look towards for inspiration and learnings. They have some amazing high comfort infrastructure on the ground with more coming and many impressive programming efforts to make walking, biking, and taking transit more enjoyable for everyday trips.Additional Helpful Links:Jan Gehl founder of the firm Gehl PeoplePreston Tyree co-host of the Growing Older Podcast Bike Plan Update VideoActive Towns Video from 2019 visitMama Agata video  - Amsterdam program to help migrant women learn to cycleLeague of American BicyclistsPeter Furth Blue BikesCycling Safety OrdinanceAeronaut Brew PubNew Harvard Bikeways - 2020 Winkelerf - A  Shared Commercial StreetShow Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe!Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
  • Active Towns podcast

    A 10 Minute Walk w/ Bianca Shulaker

    49:57

    Show Notes:The Trust for Public Land was founded in 1972 on the conviction that all people need and deserve access to nature and the outdoors, close to home, in the cities and communities where they live, as a matter of health, equity, and justice.While many conservation organizations set aside wild-lands for biodiversity or habitat restoration, the founders of TPL sought to bring the benefits of parks and nature to the places, people, and communities that needed them most.Signature initiatives and programs include ParkScore, ParkServe, and the 10-Minute Walk campaignParkScore: The ParkScore index provides in-depth data to make the case for park investment and guide local park improvement efforts. The ParkScore index is the most comprehensive rating system ever developed to measure how well the 100 largest U.S. cities are meeting the need for parks. To determine a city’s ParkScore rating, we assign points for 14 measures across five categories: acreage, investment, amenities, access, and equity. Recent analysis of data revealed significant disparities in park space across racial and economic lines. Find more here: Equitable Recovery ReportParkServe: ParkServe helps cities visualize their park system and inform decisions by identifying areas most in need of new parks. This tool and comprehensive database, developed by The Trust for Public Land, includes park data from 14,000 cities, towns, and communities. ParkServe analyzes the 10-minute walk serviceable areas for each park in the database, and includes demographic data, certain climate and health layers, and schoolyards and certain park amenities. Data is freely available to download, and an interactive map and Park Elevator tool can help assess locations for new parks.10-Minute Walk: We believe all people in US cities should have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk of their home. Today, 100 million people living in the U.S. don’t have a park close to home.10-Minute Walk, an initiative led by The Trust for Public Land, calls on mayors and gives them the resources needed to accelerate the creation of parks that drive equitable, healthy, and thriving communities. Working with cities, communities, and partners, we seek to identify and support actions that help close the nation's park equity gap.  On Twitter at https://twitter.com/10minwalk or @10minwalk Direct contact/email: 10minutewalk@tpl.org  *NEW* Community Schoolyards Report: Joint use - including with schools - is an important tool for providing access to recreation and greenspace. Currently, public school districts own an astonishing two million acres of underused land across America. By transforming these blacktop public schoolyards into living, recreational spaces open to the community, 20 million more people would have access to a park space within a 10-minute walk of home. This new report highlights the positive effects that result from providing students and nearby communities multi-functional parks that double as tranquil oases in their neighborhoodsAdditional Helpful Links:Dr. Richard "Dick" JacksonSOPARC the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities Tool - used in direct observation to assess number of park users and levels of physical activity:Community Park Audit Tool: one of the tools that has informed observations of the characteristics of park spacesWe All Need Parks Video10-Minute Walk VideoSafe Routes to School PartnershipComplete StreetsColorado Springs Trails and Open Space CoalitionShow Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe!Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
  • Active Towns podcast

    Connecting to Meaningful Destinations w/ Jeffrey Bagg

    1:07:58

    Show Notes:Episode Landing page for access to more information and photosEasthampton, Massachusetts and Jeffrey Bagg, City Planner were suggested for the Podcast by one our listeners. The following is a brief description that was provided as part of this suggestion:"Easthampton's a small Western Mass city that's more aptly a dense village. They're trailblazing out there doing amazing work that other small-scale communities should try and replicate; investing in a fantastic rail trail, a pedestrian boardwalk, traffic calming roundabouts, raised crosswalks, and new trailheads. It's also surrounded by jaw-dropping natural beauty."In the conversation, Jeff discusses the some of the challenges and opportunities the city is facing as they move to relocate an elementary school, leverage connectivity through the existing popular Manhan Rail Trail, and work to slow motor vehicles speeds in the vital downtown areas where people are likely to be walking, cycling, and lingering.Additional Helpful Links:Easthampton Planning DepartmentMt Tom North Trailhead ParkEasthampton Planning Dept Facebook PageEasthampton Planning Dept InstagramMassDOT Shared StreetsMill Pond LiveTactical UrbanismShow Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe!Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
  • Active Towns podcast

    Confessions of a Recovering Engineer w/ Chuck Marohn

    1:23:07

    Show Notes:Landing page for this episodeVideo version of the episodeIn 2010 Charles Marohn, Founder of the Strong Towns organization sat down to create a computerized animated cartoon video called Conversation with an Engineer. As he says in this podcast episode the dialog just flowed out of him, he didn't have to think hard about it, because he had already had many such conversations in his relatively short time as a practicing engineer. He brings this video back to life in the first chapter of Confessions as a way to set the premise of the book. He had behaved in this way and this is his confession. And he was wrong.The new book Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: Transportation for a Strong Town published by Wiley is available on September 8, 2021.Additional Helpful Links:Chuck’s Presentation in Austin Our first interview with Chuck – Episode 13 of the Active Towns PodcastNot Just Bikes - our episode w/ Jason SlaughterShow Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe!Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
  • Active Towns podcast

    The Cognitive Impacts of Design w/ Ann Sussman

    1:04:05

    Show Notes:Landing page for this episode to access the visuals associated with the discussionThe book Cognitive Architecture by Ann Sussman and Justin Hollander published by Routledge, now in its second edition, has helped refine what we know and understand about how we humans respond to our surroundings, from nature to the built environment, including building, streets, and public places. Thus we highly recommend it to anyone curious about or doing work in any field where you're hoping to influence human behavior.A brief video on how you really know something is wrong with Modern Architecture…when you do biometric analyses contrasting it with traditional, is hereAs mentioned, here’s the PDF from the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation + Development) based out of Paris, which declared out time, the 21st-century the New AGE of BIOLOGY in 2012 A brief overview of the 2nd edition, and how it expanded from first is hereAdditional Helpful Links:The Hapi.org - The Human Architecture and Planning Institute, IncBuilt Beautiful videoStrong Towns and the Strong Towns PodcastJan GehlDaniel LiebermanWalk Bike Places Conference Indy Cultural Trail and our video of the Cultural Trail experienceShow Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe!Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
  • Active Towns podcast

    Upzone the City w/ Abby Kinney

    53:22

    Show Notes:Active Towns Landing Page for this episode for access to more photos, videosEvery week on the Strong Towns Upzoned Podcast, Abby Kinney and most frequently, Chuck Marohn, Founder of Strong Towns have a discussion about a relevant article in some way connected to the Strong Towns message and movement. The thoughtful analysis of the content of the selected article is then balanced out with a segment they call the "Downzone" when they share what they've been reading, watching, or anything else that's been occupying their time. Additional Helpful Links:Gould Evans Studio for City DesignBikeWalkKC - Active Towns Podcast episode featuring Michael Kelley and Laura Steele Active Towns Podcast with Kea Wilson original host of UpzonedGillham Cycletrack Cliff Drive - Historical VideoKevin Klinkenberg - Midtown KC NowIncremental Development AllianceJoe Minicozzi - Urban 3Eldorado Canyon - ClimbingPearl Street Mall - HistoryBentonville, ARActive Towns Dutch Cycling video montageShow Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe! Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
  • Active Towns podcast

    Riding in Houston Gets a Boost w/ Doogie Roux

    33:22

    Show Notes: It's not an understatement to say that Houston is one of the most challenged cities in North America when it comes to it's sprawling size, at 670+ square miles (1,739.69 km2) in the city limits and 10,062 square miles (26,060 km2) at the metro level, car-centric infrastructure, and climate, with months on end of hot humid weather, but what the city does have in impressive numbers are passionate people like Doogie Roux who are working hard to make this proud southern city more livable, beautiful, and fun.As you'll soon learn from this episode, Doogie has a background in engineering and a deep love for cycling that turned into a new career direction, which included several years working Houston's B-Cycle Bikeshare program. Recently he has transitioned into a role as a micro-mobility consultant, brand ambassador, and active advocate for getting more people on bikes more often.Additional Helpful Links:Active Towns Landing Page for this Episode - for additional photos, content, and linksFollow Doogie on:InstagramFacebookTwitterBosch eBike SystemsThe Houston by eBike Travel Guide was created in collaboration with Houston resident and Micromobility consultant, Doogie Roux and highlights how to enjoy all the city has to offer by eBike, pointing to ride-sharing resources like Houston BCycle which has over 120 eBike share stations in the area. In addition, the guide offers a local’s view of Houston including:  ·       Bike-friendly restaurants and coffee stops encouraging stops at local favorites like El Tiempo for sizzling fajitas or visit The Original Ninfa's, a legendary hot-spot for Mexican fare ·       Art scene exploration by eBike of places likeThe Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, a decommissioned underground reservoir built in 1926 that currently features the art installation Time No Longer by Anri Sala ·       Iconic views and historical locations such as Emancipation Park ·       Adventure trails and calorie-burning activities like the Columbia Tap trail ·       Music-themed rides like the 3rd Ward Tours ·       Resources for eBike lovers such as Blue Line Bike Lab in the Heights, host of the Wednesday Night Bike Fight, a ride all about clipping in and going fast “Bike Through H-Town” mural by mother-son artist duo Donkeeboy and Donkeemom. The mural was commissioned by Bosch eBike Systems to celebrate Houston’s rapid ascend to one of America’s most bike-friendly cities. To further encourage eBike adoption, Bosch launched an eBike travel series today, featuring Houston as its first city. Doogie's YouTube video of the unveiling. Bike HoustonActive Towns Episode 38 featuring Commissioner Ellis and Fernando MartinezActive Towns Episode 82 featuring Jason Slaughter of Not Just BikesShow Credits:Audio Production by Active TownsA not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021Please consider supporting the Active Towns Podcast by making a donation or becoming Patreon PatronTo sign up for our monthly newsletter, scroll down to the form at bottom of our home pageBe sure to check out our video podcasts and other content on our YouTube Channel - and please subscribe! Also, check out our video archive on VimeoYou can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.orgMusic: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

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