Dean's Lecture Series
The Key Roles of Community and Building Design in Protecting and Promoting
*November 20, 2013*
12 PM | Room R160
Medical Rehabilitation Building
University of Manitoba
6 PM | CENTRE SPACE
John A. Russell Building
Fort Garry Campus
University of Manitoba
Dr. Karen Lee lives in NYC. She teaches on the built environment and
health at the Pratt Institute in New York, and is also Adjunct Professor at
the Schools of Public Health at the University of Toronto and the
University of Alberta (also a World Health Organization Collaborating
Center for Non-Communicable Disease Policy) in Canada. She is also Senior
Advisor on Built Environment & Healthy Housing at the NYC Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Lee has been the lead for the NYC Health
Dept in its work with 12 city agencies and non-government partners, in the
development of the award-winning *Active Design Guidelines*, published in
January 2010. She and her staff at the NYC Health Dept work with the
American Institute Architects New York Chapter to organize the annual Fit
City conferences since 2006. Since the publication of the *Active Design
Guidelines*, Dr. Lee’s team has developed and implemented trainings on
Active Design for architects and planners as well as community groups and
residents, and has worked with city agencies and private sector partners on
developing and implementing Active Design policies and practices in NYC and
15 other U.S. cities. Dr. Lee is also co-author on the recently released
publications *Active Design Supplement: Promoting Safety, *and *Active
Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing* presenting low-cost and
cost-neutral Active Design strategies to address the epidemics of obesity
and related chronic diseases. Dr. Lee was also involved in the
development and publication of the recent NYC Health Department
Design: Guide for Community Groups*. Dr. Lee also consults to and advises
cities and organizations in Canada, Australia, Asia, Europe and Latin
America as well as World Health Organization offices on issues related to
the built environment and chronic diseases. Before coming to NYC, Dr. Lee
was with the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the US Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) where she worked in the Division of Nutrition,
Physical Activity and Obesity at the National Center for Chronic Disease
Prevention and Health Promotion.
Just a friendly reminder that the deadline for abstract submissions is a
week tomorrow. And don't be shy about registering now -- your attendance is
important and your registration fees will be appreciated.
Thanks and please share widely!
* * * * *
*2nd International Winter Cycling Congress*
*Call for Speakers and Early-bird Registration*
The 2nd International Winter Cycling Congress will be held *February 12 &
13, 2014*, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Congress will provide a venue
for delegates from around the world to share their expertise related to
The *Call for Speakers*<http://wintercyclingcongresswinnipeg.org/program/call-for-speakers/>is
open and the conference is accepting abstract submissions until
15, 2013*. Apply now and share your skills, research and wisdom related to
planning, design, construction, maintenance, education, advocacy, data
collection and management, culture building, and more. If there is snow on
the ground, and you are working towards sustainable transportation, we want
to hear from you.
If you plan to attend as a delegate, *Early-bird
Registration*<http://wintercyclingcongresswinnipeg.org/>is now open.
Act soon – register before December 1st for a $100 discount.
Discounts are also available for students and non-profits.
Be sure to follow the conference on Twitter <https://twitter.com/wccwpg> or
Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/Wintercyclingcongresswinnipeg> to
connect with people around the world and to be updated on exciting keynote
speaker announcements and other programming. Or
the conference newsletter for email updates.
If you are interested in sponsorship or a display booth, contact
For more information, please see Winter Cycling Congress
[image: Inline image 1]
Please consider attending this event at McNally Robinson and the lecture
earlier that day at U of M Faculty of Medicine. In the mean time, check
out this great short video <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qarQXqKbmLg>. I
believe a lot of the work we do is already "thinking upstream", but how do
we get the "mainstream" thinking in the same way? If you are interested in
a Q&A or discussion with Ryan in the afternoon of November 18th (around
2:30), please let me know and we can arrange something in the downtown area.
On *Monday Nov.18th* please join Dr Ryan Meili for a discussion of his
book, *A Healthy Society: how a focus on health can revive Canadian
democracy* and the Winnipeg launch of *Upstream: Institute for a Healthy
Society*. See this animated short for an introduction to Upstream:
Ryan will be speaking at McNally Robinson (Grant Park location) at 7:30pm
in the Travel Alcove and will be signing books afterward. Feel free to use
the Facebook event page to invite others:
He will also be speaking at noon at the Faculty of Medicine on *Social
Accountability in Medicine: Shaking the Foundation* in Theatre C, Basic
Medical Sciences Building, University of Manitoba. Both events are free of
charge and open to the public.
Upstream is a movement to create a healthy society through evidence-based,
people-centred ideas. Upstream seeks to change the current conversation,
reframing public discourse around the goal of true health and helping
citizens understand the best ways to reach that goal.
>From the emergency room, to homeless shelters, to the prison system, we see
the consequences of downstream thinking all around us. Upstream thinking
means investing wisely for future success rather than spending all of our
time and resources responding to failure.
If health for all is our goal, then upstream thinking is about addressing
the things that have the greatest influence on our health, including
income, employment, education, early childhood development, housing,
nutrition and the wider environment.
Upstream works with the growing body of evidence on these social
determinants of health and use that knowledge to guide recommendations for
By sharing stories through a variety of media, Upstream seeks to creatively
engage citizens, sparking within them a personal stake in the social
determinants of health and a demand for upstream alternatives to the status
Upstream uses this evidence and storytelling to foster a vibrant network of
organizations and individuals who share this vision.
By demonstrating that a better way is possible, we can help create the
conditions for wiser decisions and a healthier Canada.
Learn more at www.thinkupstream.net
*Jackie Avent* | Active and Safe Routes to School
Green Action Centre <http://greenactioncentre.ca/>
3rd floor, 303 Portage Avenue* | *(204) 925-3773
Green Action Centre is your non-profit hub for greener living.
Support our work by becoming a
Find us here<http://greenactioncentre.ca/content/ecocentre-directions-and-travel-options/>
The secrets of the world's happiest cities
What makes a city a great place to live your commute, property prices or
Two bodyguards trotted behind Enrique Peñalosa
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_Pe%C3%B1alosa> , their pistols
jostling in holsters. There was nothing remarkable about that, given his
profession and his locale. Peñalosa was a politician on yet another
campaign, and this was Bogotá, a city with a reputation for kidnapping and
assassination. What was unusual was this: Peñalosa didn't climb into the
armoured SUV. Instead, he hopped on a mountain bike. His bodyguards and I
pedalled madly behind, like a throng of teenagers in the wake of a rock
A few years earlier, this ride would have been a radical and in the
opinion of many Bogotáns suicidal act. If you wanted to be assaulted,
asphyxiated by exhaust fumes or run over, the city's streets were the place
to be. But Peñalosa insisted that things had changed. "We're living an
experiment," he yelled back at me. "We might not be able to fix the economy.
But we can design the city to give people dignity, to make them feel rich.
The city can make them happier."
I first saw the Mayor of Happiness work his rhetorical magic back in the
spring of 2006. The United Nations had just announced that some day in the
following months, one more child would be born in an urban hospital or a
migrant would stumble into a metropolitan shantytown, and from that moment
on, more than half the world's people would be living in cities. By 2030,
almost 5 billion of us will be urban.
Peñalosa insisted that, like most cities, Bogotá had been left deeply
wounded by the 20th century's dual urban legacy: first, the city had been
gradually reoriented around cars. Second, public spaces and resources had
largely been privatised. This reorganisation was both unfair only one in
five families even owned a car and cruel: urban residents had been denied
the opportunity to enjoy the city's simplest daily pleasures: walking on
convivial streets, sitting around in public. And playing: children had
largely disappeared from Bogotá's streets, not because of the fear of
gunfire or abduction, but because the streets had been rendered dangerous by
sheer speed. Peñalosa's first and most defining act as mayor was to declare
war: not on crime or drugs or poverty, but on cars.
He threw out the ambitious highway expansion plan and instead poured his
budget into hundreds of miles of cycle paths; a vast new chain of parks and
pedestrian plazas; and the city's first rapid transit system (the
TransMilenio <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TransMilenio> ), using buses
instead of trains. He banned drivers from commuting by car more than three
times a week. This programme redesigned the experience of city living for
millions of people, and it was an utter rejection of the philosophies that
have guided city planners around the world for more than half a century.
In the third year of his term, Peñalosa challenged Bogotáns to participate
in an experiment. As of dawn on 24 February 2000, cars were banned from
streets for the day. It was the first day in four years that nobody was
killed in traffic. Hospital admissions fell by almost a third. The toxic
haze over the city thinned. People told pollsters that they were more
optimistic about city life than they had been in years.
One memory from early in the journey has stuck with me, perhaps because it
carries both the sweetness and the subjective slipperiness of the happiness
we sometimes find in cities. Peñalosa, who was running for re-election,
needed to be seen out on his bicycle that day. He hollered "Cómo le va?"
("How's it going?") at anyone who appeared to recognise him. But this did
not explain his haste or his quickening pace as we traversed the north end
of the city towards the Andean foothills. It was all I could do to keep up
with him, block after block, until we arrived at a compound ringed by a high
Boys in crisp white shirts and matching uniforms poured through a gate. One
of them, a bright-eyed 10-year-old, pushed a miniature version of Peñalosa's
bicycle through the crowd. Suddenly I understood his haste. He had been
rushing to pick up his son from school, like other parents were doing that
very moment up and down the time zone. Here, in the heart of one of the
meanest, poorest cities in the hemisphere, father and son would roll away
from the school gate for a carefree ride across the metropolis. This was an
unthinkable act in most modern cities. As the sun fell and the Andes caught
fire, we arced our way along the wide-open avenues, then west along a
highway built for bicycles. The kid raced ahead. At that point, I wasn't
sure about Peñalosa's ideology. Who was to say that one way of moving was
better than another? How could anyone know enough about the needs of the
human soul to prescribe the ideal city for happiness?
But for a moment I forgot my questions. I let go of my handlebars and raised
my arms in the air of the cooling breeze, and I remembered my own childhood
of country roads, after-school wanderings, lazy rides and pure freedom. I
felt fine. The city was mine. The journey began.
Is urban design really powerful enough to make or break happiness? The
question deserves consideration, because the happy city message is taking
root around the world. "The most dynamic economies of the 20th century
produced the most miserable cities of all," Peñalosa told me over the roar
of traffic. "I'm talking about the US Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami, cities
totally dominated by cars."
If one was to judge by sheer wealth, the last half-century should have been
an ecstatically happy time for people in the US and other rich nations such
as Canada, Japan and Great Britain. And yet the boom decades of the late
20th century were not accompanied by a boom in wellbeing. The British got
richer by more than 40% between 1993 and 2012, but the rate of psychiatric
disorders and neuroses grew.
Just before the crash of 2008, a team of Italian economists, led by Stefano
Bartolini, tried to account for that seemingly inexplicable gap between
rising income and flatlining happiness in the US. The Italians tried
removing various components of economic and social data from their models,
and found that the only factor powerful enough to hold down people's
self-reported happiness in the face of all that wealth was the country's
declining social capital: the social networks and interactions that keep us
connected with others. It was even more corrosive than the income gap
between rich and poor.
As much as we complain about other people, there is nothing worse for mental
health than a social desert. The more connected we are to family and
community, the less likely we are to experience heart attacks, strokes,
cancer and depression. Connected people sleep better at night. They live
longer. They consistently report being happier.
There is a clear connection between social deficit and the shape of cities.
A Swedish study
-distance-commuters-get-divorced-more-often.cid160978> found that people
who endure more than a 45-minute commute were 40% more likely to divorce.
People who live in monofunctional, cardependent neighbourhoods outside
urban centres are much less trusting of other people than people who live in
walkable neighbourhoods where housing is mixed with shops, services and
places to work.
A couple of University of Zurich economists, Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer,
compared German commuters' estimation of the time it took them to get to
work with their answers to the standard wellbeing question, "How satisfied
are you with your life, all things considered?"
Their finding was seemingly straightforward: the longer the drive, the less
happy people were. Before you dismiss this as numbingly obvious, keep in
mind that they were testing not for drive satisfaction, but for life
satisfaction. People were choosing commutes that made their entire lives
worse. Stutzer and Frey <http://ideas.repec.org/p/zur/iewwpx/151.html>
found that a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40% more money to be
as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office. On the other
hand, for a single person, exchanging a long commute for a short walk to
work has the same effect on happiness as finding a new love.
Daniel Gilbert <http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/%7Edtg/gilbert.htm> , Harvard
psychologist and author of Stumbling On Happiness
83135> , explained the commuting paradox this way: "Most good and bad things
become less good and bad over time as we adapt to them. However, it is much
easier to adapt to things that stay constant than to things that change. So
we adapt quickly to the joy of a larger house, because the house is exactly
the same size every time. But we find it difficult to adapt to commuting by
car, because every day is a slightly new form of misery."
The sad part is that the more we flock to highstatus cities for the good
life money, opportunity, novelty the more crowded, expensive, polluted
and congested those places become. The result? Surveys show that Londoners
are among the least happy people in the UK
in-the-uk> , despite the city being the richest region in the UK.
When we talk about cities, we usually end up talking about how various
places look, and perhaps how it feels to be there. But to stop there misses
half the story, because the way we experience most parts of cities is at
velocity: we glide past on the way to somewhere else. City life is as much
about moving through landscapes as it is about being in them. Robert Judge,
a 48-year-old husband and father, once wrote to a Canadian radio show
explaining how much he enjoyed going grocery shopping on his bicycle.
Judge's confession would have been unremarkable if he did not happen to live
in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where the average temperature in January hovers
around -17C. The city stays frozen and snowy for almost half the year.
Judge's pleasure in an experience that seems slower, more difficult and
considerably more uncomfortable than the alternative might seem bizarre. He
explained it by way of a story: sometimes, he said, he would pick up his
three-year-old son from nursery and put him on the back seat of his tandem
bike and they would pedal home along the South Saskatchewan river. The snow
would muffle the noise of the city. Dusk would paint the sky in colours so
exquisite that Judge could not begin to find names for them. The snow would
reflect those hues. It would glow like the sky, and Judge would breathe in
the cold air and hear his son breathing behind him, and he would feel as
though together they had become part of winter itself.
Drivers experience plenty of emotional dividends. They report feeling much
more in charge of their lives than public transport users. An upmarket
vehicle is loaded with symbolic value that offers a powerful, if temporary,
boost in status. Yet despite these romantic feelings, half of commuters
living in big cities and suburbs claim to dislike the heroic journey they
must make every day. The urban system neutralises their power.
Driving in traffic is harrowing for both brain and body. The blood of people
who drive in cities is a stew of stress hormones. The worse the traffic, the
more your system is flooded with adrenaline and cortisol, the
fight-or-flight juices that, in the short-term, get your heart pumping
faster, dilate your air passages and help sharpen your alertness, but in the
long-term can make you ill. Researchers for Hewlett-Packard convinced
volunteers in England to wear electrode caps during their commutes
<http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/nov/30/research.transport> and found
that whether they were driving or taking the train, peak-hour travellers
suffered worse stress than fighter pilots or riot police facing mobs of
But one group of commuters report enjoying themselves. These are people who
travel under their own steam, like Robert Judge. They walk. They run. They
Why would travelling more slowly and using more effort offer more
satisfaction than driving? Part of the answer exists in basic human
physiology. We were born to move. Immobility is to the human body what rust
is to the classic car. Stop moving long enough, and your muscles will
atrophy. Bones will weaken. Blood will clot. You will find it harder to
concentrate and solve problems. Immobility is not merely a state closer to
death: it hastens it.
Robert Thayer, a professor of psychology at California State University,
fitted dozens of students with pedometers
<http://www.csulb.edu/misc/inside/archives/vol_58_no_4/1.htm> , then sent
them back to their regular lives. Over the course of 20 days, the volunteers
answered survey questions about their moods, attitudes, diet and happiness.
Within that volunteer group, people who walked more were happier.
The same is true of cycling, although a bicycle has the added benefit of
giving even a lazy rider the ability to travel three or four times faster
than someone walking, while using less than a quarter of the energy. They
may not all attain Judge's level of transcendence, but cyclists report
feeling connected to the world around them in a way that is simply not
possible in the sealed environment of a car, bus or train. Their journeys
are both sensual and kinesthetic.
In 1969, a consortium of European industrial interests charged a young
American economist, Eric Britton
<http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/author/worldstreets/> , with figuring out
how people would move through cities in the future. Cities should strive to
embrace complexity, not only in transportation systems but in human
experience, says Britton, who is still working in that field and lives in
Paris. He advises cities and corporations to abandon old mobility, a system
rigidly organised entirely around one way of moving, and embrace new
mobility, a future in which we would all be free to move in the greatest
variety of ways.
"We all know old mobility," Britton said. "It's you sitting in your car,
stuck in traffic. It's you driving around for hours, searching for a parking
spot. Old mobility is also the 55-year-old woman with a bad leg, waiting in
the rain for a bus that she can't be certain will come. New mobility, on the
other hand, is freedom distilled."
To demonstrate how radically urban systems can build freedom in motion,
Britton led me down from his office, out on to Rue Joseph Bara. We paused by
a row of sturdy-looking bicycles. Britton swept his wallet above a metallic
post and pulled one free from its berth. "Et voilà! Freedom!" he said,
grinning. Since the Paris bike scheme, Vélib'
was introduced, it has utterly changed the face of mobility. Each bicycle in
the Vélib' fleet gets used between three and nine times every day. That's as
many as 200,000 trips a day. Dozens of cities have now dabbled in shared
bike programmes, including Lyon, Montreal, Melbourne, New York. In 2010,
London introduced a system, dubbed Boris Bikes for the city's bike-mad
mayor, Boris Johnson. In Paris, and around the world, new systems of sharing
are setting drivers free. As more people took to bicycles in Vélib's first
year, the number of bike accidents rose, but the number of accidents per
capita fell. This phenomenon seems to repeat wherever cities see a spike in
cycling: the more people bike, the safer the streets become for cyclists,
partly because drivers adopt more cautious habits when they expect cyclists
on the road. There is safety in numbers.
So if we really care about freedom for everyone, we need to design for
everyone, not only the brave. Anyone who is really serious about building
freedom in their cities eventually makes the pilgrimage to Copenhagen. I
joined Copenhagen rush hour on a September morning with Lasse Lindholm, an
employee of the city's traffic department. The sun was burning through the
autumn haze as we made our way across Queen Louise's Bridge. Vapour rose
from the lake, swans drifted and preened, and the bridge seethed with a
rush-hour scene like none I have ever witnessed. With each light change,
cyclists rolled toward us in their hundreds. They did not look the way
cyclists are supposed to look. They did not wear helmets or reflective gear.
Some of the men wore pinstriped suits. No one was breaking a sweat.
Lindholm rolled off a list of statistics: more people that morning would
travel by bicycle than by any other mode of transport (37%). If you didn't
count the suburbs, the percentage of cyclists in Copenhagen would hit 55%.
They aren't choosing to cycle because of any deep-seated altruism or
commitment to the environment; they are motivated by self-interest. "They
just want to get themselves from A to B," Lindholm said, "and it happens to
be easier and quicker to do it on a bike."
The Bogotá experiment may not have made up for all the city's grinding
inequities, but it was a spectacular beginning and, to the surprise of many,
it made life better for almost everyone.
The TransMilenio moved so many people so efficiently that car drivers
crossed the city faster as well: commuting times fell by a fifth. The
streets were calmer. By the end of Peñalosa's term, people were crashing
their cars less often and killing each other less frequently, too: the
accident rate fell by nearly half, and so did the murder rate, even as the
country as a whole got more violent. There was a massive improvement in air
quality, too. Bogotáns got healthier. The city experienced a spike in
feelings of optimism. People believed that life was good and getting better,
a feeling they had not shared in decades.
Bogotá's fortunes have since declined. The TransMilenio system is plagued by
desperate crowding as its private operators fail to add more capacity yet
more proof that robust public transport needs sustained public investment.
Optimism has withered. But Bogotá's transformative years still offer an
enduring lesson for rich cities. By spending resources and designing cities
in a way that values everyone's experience, we can make cities that help us
all get stronger, more resilient, more connected, more active and more free.
We just have to decide who our cities are for. And we have to believe that
they can change.
This is an edited extract from Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through
Urban Design, by Charles Montgomery, published by Penguin at £16.99.
_ ( \ _
The Rise of the Bicycle-Friendly Suburb
Sarah Goodyear <http://www.theatlanticcities.com/authors/sarah-goodyear/> |
Oct 18, 2013
Welcoming bicycles to the streets isn't just an urban thing anymore.
Increasingly, according to the new rankings of "Bicycle Friendly
Communities" released by the League of American
Bicyclists<http://www.bikeleague.org/>this week, suburbs are getting
in on the act.
Places like Elmhurst, Illinois; Riverside, California; Montclair, New
Jersey; and Dublin, Ohio; are among the 32 municipalities making LAB’s list
for the first time this year. The list, which ranks towns and cities in a
four-tier system from bronze up to platinum (the full list here,
was inaugurated in 2003. It now includes 291 towns and cities in 48 states.
*Riverside, California. Image courtesy of Flickr user James May
In its early years, the list was dominated by larger cities like Seattle
and Portland, along with college towns like Davis, California, and Fort
Collins, Colorado. But it's growing fast, and a lot of the expansion is
coming from conventional suburbs where biking – whether for transportation
or recreation -- was a marginal activity just a few years ago.
*A new bike rack purchased by the Worthington-Dublin Rotary Club. Image
courtesy of Flickr user Don O'Brien
Communities submit applications for the League’s consideration on an annual
basis, and are evaluated on things like safe bicycle infrastructure, a
bike-friendly culture, education for riders, and enforcement of laws
protecting people on bikes. Because LAB’s ability to do outreach is
limited, municipal leaders are the ones taking the initiative to apply – an
indicator in itself.
The percentage of suburban communities applying has jumped significantly in
the last couple of years, according to Bill Nesper, LAB’s vice president
for programs. "It’s not just the usual suspects anymore," he says of the
applicant pool. "These are places with longer trip distances and suburban
land patterns. They are answering a demand. They are coming to us, and they
Increasingly, Nesper says, suburban leaders are seeking out a "bicycle
friendly" designation because they think it makes their communities more
attractive to new businesses and residents. He cites Greenville, South
Carolina, as another unexpected place that earned a bronze designation this
year. Amenities like good bike infrastructure can help set a suburb or
small city apart from its sprawling counterparts.
"What’s happening is that bicycling is an indicator of a high quality of
life," says Nesper. "It helps the community compete."
Sarah Goodyear has written about cities for a variety of publications,
including *Grist* and *Streetsblog*. She lives in Brooklyn.
Green Action Centre invites you to join us for a local viewing of the
following APBP and NACTO webinar at the EcoCentre (3rd floor, 303 Portage
Ave). This will be followed by group discussion of local applications. Detailed
description provided below.
*Wednesday, Nov. 6th | 2:00-3:00 p.m.*
RSVPs are appreciated but not necessary. Hope to see you then!
(Please note that this is a free webinar, so if you prefer to watch from
your office you can register here:
** * * * **
New NACTO Urban Street Design Guide
*Wednesday, Nov. 6th | 2:00-3:00 p.m.*
The leading experts in street design who contributed to the guide's
development will address how this resource will change the face of our
streets, the ways you can use it in your community, and how specific topics
and elements in the document differ from conventional practice.
The NACTO Urban Street Design Guide <http://nacto.org/usdg/> charts the
principles and practices of the nation’s foremost engineers, planners and
designers working in cities today. The Guide offers a blueprint for
designing 21st century streets, and unveils the toolbox and the tactics
cities use to make streets safer, more liveable, and more economically
In this webinar, participants will achieve a better understanding of how
and why city streets demand a unique set of design tools specific to their
distinct needs and characteristics; will learn how to implement different
"interim" design strategies, including parklets, public plazas and
temporary safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians; will clarify
how to utilize the guide as a tool for local and state advocacy, including
basic information on NACTO's endorsement campaign for the guide.
Each webinar presenter is an expert in street design and a contributor to
- Michael Flynn, Director of Capital Planning, NYC DOT;
- Michael King, Principal, Nelson\Nygaard Associates;
- Peter Koonce, Division Manager, Signals, Street Lighting & ITS,
Portland Bureau of Transportation; and
- David Vega-Barachowitz, Director, Designing Cities initiative, NACTO.
*NACTO* - The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
is an association that represents large cities on transportation issues of
local, regional and national significance. NACTO views the transportation
departments of major cities as effective and necessary partners in regional
and national transportation efforts, promoting their interests in federal
decision-making. They facilitate the exchange of transportation ideas,
insights and best practices among large cities, while fostering a
cooperative approach to key issues facing cities and metropolitan areas. As
a coalition of city transportation departments, NACTO is committed to
raising the state of the practice for street design and transportation by
building a common vision, sharing data, peer-to-peer exchange in workshops
and conferences, and regular communication among member cities. For more
information about the organization, visit
*APBP *- The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP)
provides expertise for sustainable transportation and is the only
professional membership organization for the discipline of pedestrian and
bicycle transportation. APBP members are employees of all levels of
government, consulting firms and non-profits who work in the engineering,
planning, landscape architecture, police, safety, health and promotion
fields and specialize in improving conditions for bicycling and walking.
For more information about the organization, visit
(courtesy of Velo Cape Breton) In addition to their enforced 1m passing
law, Nova Scotia is making great strides on several fronts thanks to a
combination of political will and a growing network of interest groups such
as Velo Cape Breton.
See: Nova Scotia Cycling Summit
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Terry Zdan <tjzdan50(a)gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 09:01:44 -0500
Subject: Head injuries are among the most severe injuries sustained while
author(s)Brent E Hagel, Natalie L Yanchar; Canadian Paediatric Society, Injury
Paediatr Child Health 2013;18(9):475-80 Abstract
Bicycling is a popular activity and a healthy, environmentally friendly
form of transportation. However, it is also a leading cause of sport and
recreational injury in children and adolescents. Head injuries are among
the most severe injuries sustained while bicycling, justifying the
implementation of bicycle helmet legislation by many provinces. There is
evidence that bicycle helmet legislation increases helmet use and reduces
head injury risk. Evidence for unintended consequences of helmet
legislation, such as reduced bicycling and greater risk-taking, is weak and
conflicting. Both research evidence to date and recognition of the
substantial impact of traumatic brain injuries support the recommendation
for all-ages bicycle helmet legislation.
*Key Words:* *Bicycle helmet; Head injuries; Legislation*
Based on current evidence and the importance of preventing head injuries in
children and youth, the CPS makes the following recommendations:
- All jurisdictions in Canada should legislate and enforce bicycle
helmet use for all ages.
- Legislation should be rolled out using social marketing and education
to raise awareness of bicycle helmet efficacy, accessibility and importance.
- *Other strategies to prevent bicycling injuries, such as separating
riders from motor traffic with bicycle lanes, pathways for commuting and
recreational cycling, and community safety programs should be implemented
- Physicians should counsel families about the importance of wearing
bicycle helmets. Where all-ages legislation does not exist, parents should
wear a bicycle helmet to model good behaviour and protect themselves.
- Sales tax exemptions or rebates and federal tax credits to make the
purchase of bicycle helmets less expensive should be adopted.
Future research should explore both the intended and potential unintended
effects of bicycle helmet legislation, with focus on:
- Long-term follow-up to assess the effects of bicycle helmet
legislation on compliance, prevalence and head injuries rates, with
appropriate control for trends in other traffic safety initiatives.
- How enforcement activities influence helmet compliance and prevalence.
- The level of bicycling activity after implementation of helmet
legislation, with appropriate control for independent and pre-existing
trends in bicycling.
This position statement was reviewed by the Community Paediatrics,
Adolescent Health, and Healthy Active Living and Sports Medicine
Committees, and by the Emergency Paediatrics Section, of the Canadian
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