A group of people of color standing outside posing for the camera with excitement and their arms in the air.

Rewriting the Playbook on How we Get Around

As Boston prepares for a citywide visioning process on the future of mobility, one Barr grantee has been priming the pump with bold ideas and new thinking about what a world-class transportation network might look like.

In January Mary Skelton Roberts asked the question "What if we focused on moving people not vehicles?" It was a question inspired by a learning tour to Mexico City where we joined a group of transportation development and community leaders from Boston to get a firsthand look at the city's amazing Bus Rapid Transit System. Meanwhile the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) has been raising similar questions every month in its "Traffic Advisory" series which Barr has supported and in which leaders from around the world have shared insights and innovations from other cities that are re-writing the playbook on urban mobility. Traffic Advisory invites Bostonians to envision new possibilities in the way cities are designed and to reimagine all of Boston as a more connected and more walkable city.

The next session is tomorrow. But first a recap...

In November Helle Søholt CEO of Gehl Architects described what it took for Copenhagen to become a healthier safer more connected city where over 50% of people get around by bike (see Mariella Puerto's reflections from her visit there in 2013 ). Helle also described the transformation of New York City's infamously congested Broadway into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard. Ryan Chin of the City Science Initiative at MIT Media Lab wowed the crowd with his introduction to on-demand personal transit folding cars and CityScope's Lego block 3D urban planning tools.

Last month Dr. Ignazio Marino the Mayor of Rome which is a far older and more congested city than Boston shared his inspiring reflections on the political courage it takes to push for walking and biking in a city with 97% vehicle ownership.

Dr. Ignazio Marino the Mayor of Rome

Tomorrow June 19 at 6PM at the BSA Space this series continues with an amazing trio of speakers. Rehana Moosajee the mastermind behind Africa's first bus rapid transit system (Rea Vaya in South Africa) will share lessons learned from Johannesburg.Joseph Calabrese CEO and General Manager of Cleveland Ohio's Rapid Transit Authority will discuss the challenges and breakthroughs of implementing what remains the best Bus Rapid Transit system in the States – Cleveland's "HealthLine BRT." Finally Walter Hook CEO of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy a firm that has advised numerous cities on bus rapid transit will offer a global prospective on the implementation of BRT.

June 19 Traffic Advisory Details

As Boston prepares for a citywide visioning process on the future of mobility it is exciting to see Barr grantees like the BSA inject new ideas and bold different thinking into this important citywide dialog.

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