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Public Invited to Attend Community Design Workshop

Nov 30, 2017 11:22PM ● Published by Jeanne Fratello

How would you design your city’s streets? This is the question Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) will pose to residents at its interactive Community Design Workshop on December 4 at 6:00 p.m.

The event, presented in partnership with the cities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, will be led by two of the nation's leaders on built environment. Blue Zones Director of Inspiration and Innovation Dan Burden, one of TIME's six most important civic innovators in the world, will lead the workshop, and Paul Zykofsky, associate director of the Local Government Commission Team, will co-facilitate.

The Community Design Workshop will include a presentation from Burden on strategies to create a healthy, vibrant and connected community. Following the presentation, participants will break into smaller groups where each person will be assigned a community role (cyclist, commuter, public transit rider etc.). Together, they will design a city street/neighborhood that balances the needs of multiple users.

In addition to the workshop, Burden is slated to meet with elected officials, city staff and other stakeholders to discuss best practices for active transportation. He will also review BCHD’s conceptual plans for its proposed Healthy Living Campus project. 

“Healthy street design creates attractive neighborhoods, meeting the community’s basic needs for public safety, economic development and land-use planning,” said Burden, who is director of inspiration and innovation at Blue Zones and was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award issued by New Partners for Smart Growth and Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. “Small changes, such as adding benches, lighting and ensuring streets support active living, advance opportunities for all people through walkable streets, livable cities and better built environments.”

Burden has deep ties to the Beach Cities through Blue Zones Project, a community health initiative that the Cities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach began jointly implementing in 2010. Additionally, he authored the Beach Cities Livability Plan, a proposal the three cities adopted as a blueprint for creating a more active community.

“A large part of Blue Zones Project is making environmental changes that nudge people in the direction of better health,” said Lauren Nakano, Beach Cities Health District’s director of the Blue Zones Project. “We’re working with the three cities to create an environment that better supports the well-being of our residents by improving safety and providing opportunities for community engagement.”

Research shows that creating complete streets, roadways that are designed to enable safe access for all modes of transportation, is beneficial for community health. According to Smart Growth America, as more complete streets elements are added to cities, pedestrian-vehicle crashes decrease.

There is no cost to attend the Community Design Workshop; however, advance registration is recommended. Participants can register at bchd.org/streetsforall; attendees will also be encouraged to participate in upcoming public meetings to provide input on Aviation Boulevard and other city projects.


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