Your monthly roundup of news, tools, and events from the world of 8 80 Cities.
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Public Life Blossoms In A Previously Underused Laneway In The City of Brampton!

This summer 8 80 Cities has had the pleasure to work in partnership with the City of Brampton and the Downtown Brampton Business Improvement Area (BIA) to transform Vivian Lane into a vibrant destination for people of all ages as part of the broader Activate Downtown Brampton project. The program is supported by My Main Street investment by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), which is being delivered by the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI). Read the press release here and check out our Instagram for some pictures and updates!

Read the press release

What We Are Reading

Finding New Ways To Promote Adventurous Play

Read this interesting interview by Chris Smith, for The Naked Scientists, with Tim Gill, an independent researcher and writer, and a global advocate for children’s play. Tim Gill is the author of Urban Playground: How Child Friendly Planning and Design Can Save Cities.

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A Tale of Two Cities: Unpacking the Success and Failure of School Street Interventions in Two Canadian Cities

As School Streets gain popularity in cities across Canada, it is unclear exactly what kinds of neighbourhood these novel interventions work in and what steps are needed to successfully launch them. This article by our Project Coordinator, Laura Smith, looks at two planned School Street pilots in Canada, one that was successfully launched and another that failed to launch, to identify the contextual elements and mechanisms of action that are necessary for the implementation of School Streets in Canada. The article also discusses the challenges when working against the status quo in city planning and provides recommendations for those advocating for more child-friendly cities.

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Delivering Equity Through Public Realm Procurement

Organizations and particularly local governments need to look at how they deploy funding, implement procurement and eliminate the barriers to participation for contractors and suppliers traditionally left out of existing systems to meet the opportunity of this moment. Doing this systems-level work can improve equity beyond the scope of federal programs by improving the way cities do business over the long term. In this article, Alexa Bush and Kyle Kutuchief offer four insights into purchasing with great impact.

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Three Ways Neighbourhoods Matter For Older Adult Social Connectedness

When the pandemic began, there was too little information about its impact on the well-being of older adults. Loneliness, though, was on the rise before COVID-19.  How can social connectedness reduce the negative health impacts of this new epidemic? What is the role neighbourhoods play in the well-being of the community at large? To find some answers, researchers at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University partnered with the West End Seniors' Network (WESN) to listen to and learn from older adults. This report summarizes their study.

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An Interview With Chris Bruntlett

In this interview with Chris Bruntlett, marketing and communications manager at the Dutch Cycling Embassy, Savannah Bertrand (Environmental and Energy Study Institute), discusses how Dutch cycling successes can be a model for other countries, and specifically the United States. The Dutch are well known for their active cycling population; in fact, there are more bikes in the country than people. And as the United States looks to make its transportation system more sustainable, equitable, efficient, and resilient, the Netherlands can serve as an example.
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Plants By School Playgrounds Protect Kids From Road Pollution

A new study finds that planting vegetation between school playgrounds and roads can protect students from traffic-related air pollution. The study examined the effect of “tredges” – trees managed as head-high hedges – planted in 2019 around three Manchester primary schools’ playgrounds. Strategically installing such greenery is a fast and cheap way to achieve significant air quality improvements in urban areas, especially in school playgrounds. Learn more in this article by Aysha Khan.

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What We Are Watching

Pedestrian Plazas In Paris
Paris plans to repurpose 50% of its current car parking bays by 2026 for alternate users is not that ambitious anymore. While in Paris, Streetfilms met up with Open Plans Founder, Mark Gorton, and recorded this impromptu look at the pedestrianized/low-traffic streets of Paris after walking for nearly a half hour continuously and only seeing a handful of vehicles.
Get inspired by the look and feel of pedestrian plazas, a must-have for every city.

Watch the video...
Did you know? 
MABELLEarts created the first park in Canada designed to respond to the unique needs and desires of residents living together in a high-density, low-income tower community. Now, together with residents and partners, they are building a park that can respond to the community’s unique needs and desires, charting a new course for park use and redefining the role of public space in low-income communities.

Visit their website to learn more...

Tools & Resources

Future of Housing: Addressing Housing Challenges Across the U.S.
AARP and AARP Foundation created the Future of Housing Initiative. The organizations are developing strategies to address the senior housing crisis and make all of the U.S. communities affordable and welcoming for people regardless of age, background, circumstance, or physical ability. Explore to learn more...

School Travel Planning Toolkit Need solutions to school zone traffic problems? Want to get more kids in your community walking, wheeling or taking the bus to school again? Visit the new home for school travel planning in Ontario here.

Report of the first Children & Young People’s Consultation The UN invited children and young people from around the world to share their views on their environmental rights. 7,416 children from 103 countries answered their call. Read the key findings

Urban Design For Health Research has shown that design can impact today’s greatest challenges to the physical, mental and social well-being of communities around the world. How can we best move from ideas to action? And how can we best integrate interventions that put the health and well-being of people at the centre of planning and designing cities? Those were the central questions explored during a virtual symposium held by WHO Regional Office for Europe in collaboration with Gehl in April 2021. Read the report. 

Events & Announcements

Save your spot now to be part of this specialized event of educational and experiential content, aimed at public space professionals and urban parks. Monterrey, November 14-18, 2022. 8 80 Cities ED Amanda O’Rourke will host a session on children and play. 

Attention Canadian Cities!!! Check out this fantastic opportunity to learn from good practices in public space and active transportation to support health and well-being. Includes a study trip and policy implementation workshop for your city team in Copenhagen in Fall 2023! We are so excited to re-launch this initiative with our partners at the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.
More information

The government of Canada announces over 400 projects to help Canadian communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic On September 23, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, along with Andrea Dicks, President of Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), and Mary W. Rowe, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI), announced funding for over 400 new projects under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI). The additional funding will help communities adapt public spaces and local services in a way that meets people’s needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Community Foundations of Canada’s interactive map and results page highlights the projects and the great work being done within our communities.

#LCF2022 is just around the corner and we are looking forward to welcoming attendees in Victoria, BC. Join us! Registration is available until this Friday, September 30. Register here.

Tell your story of aging in your neighbourhood through photo, video, audio, poetry, reflections, and recipes and have it posted on the Aging People, Aging Places website. Submit your story.

8 80 Staff Spotlight

We have a new Project Manager! Shannon Lawrence is an urban designer and community development planner who has spent more than a decade working in collaboration with communities across the globe. For the past three years, she has been based in Jerusalem, working on issues of contested urban space and raising her young daughter. She's now back in Canada and we are so happy to have her as a team member. Welcome, Shannon, to the 8 80 Cities family!

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