Asbury Park is working on making city streets and sidewalks great public places, as well as focusing on sustainable mobility: walking, riding bicycles, scooters, and promoting other alternative mobility options, plus public transit.
Gil Penalosa, is founder of 8-80 Cities, grounded on the concept that we can create “vibrant cities with healthy communities where all people can live happier, regardless of age, gender, ability, or socio-economic or ethnic status.”
“The 8 to 80 litmus test involves imagining a public space, but especially a busy city street or intersection, and asking whether it is suitable for young and old alike.”
(Gil’s brother Enrique Penalosa, also a well-known urbanist, was re-elected mayor of Bogota Colombia in 2015 for the 2016–2019 term. While embroiled in some recent academic controversy, he has also been influential in making major improvements for people and places in that city during his 2 separate terms as mayor up to the present, and in other cities elsewhere in the world between terms.)
The 8 to 80 Problem: Designing Cities for Young and Old
How can cities create neighborhoods that work well for all generations?
“…in many aging societies, where the proportion of seniors will grow as much as four-fold over the next two decades, public space improvements alone won’t make large urban areas, especially car-dependent suburbs, more suitable to the needs of older residents. Indeed, one of the most difficult questions facing urban areas is how they will go about making themselves more age-friendly.”
Asbury Park ALIVE scheduled for May 2019, is our version of this hugely popular event that started in Bogota, Columbia. A ciclovia (“cycleway”) every week brings residents out to ride bikes, walk, juggle or otherwise have fun on city streets. The cost is minimal making it relatively easy to implement weekly. In the US these events are becoming popular but usually are less frequent and more involved, with vendors, activities, music. Asbury Park ALIVE will be an event not to be missed! Stay tuned!
How Bogotá’s Cycling Superhighway Shaped a Generation
For many families, the Ciclovía is often one of the very best things about living in Bogotá. And kids start very young.
“Since the 40s, when the automobile started becoming dominant, cities—or streets—have been designed for cars,” Montero said. “People have internalized that that is how cities look and so assume that’s normal, that the streets are dedicated to cars.
So, why don’t more cities adopt similar weekend cycle paths?
Hundreds of delegations have come to Bogotá to see how it works, and there are now Ciclovías across the Americas, though none as extensive or regular as here.
The big problem for most places, experts say, is the expense. In Bogotá, the district estimates the cost to be less than 10 U.S. cents per user each week. “That’s like nothing,” says Ramos. But U.S. cities like Los Angeles (which runs CicLAvia four times a year) and New York have seen costs skyrocket with organizers often liable for policing costs and insurance.”