International Study Tour on Open Streets
Guadalajara, Mexico, 2010
In partnership with Guadalajara 2020, 8-80 Cities organized a professional development study tour in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2010. This targeted three day conference offered insight into the world class Via Recreativa program which opens 63 kilometers of street to over 400,000 people every Sunday to walk, bike, skate and enjoy the street as a public space.
Open Streets are programs where the streets are opened to people and closed to cars. Bogota’s Ciclovia, the original “Open Streets “which began in the late 1970s, has evolved to become an important part of the city’s culture. Today, cities around the world are looking to Bogota and following in their footsteps. Fortunately now there are many great examples to learn from, including Guadalajara’s world class Via Recreativa program which opens 63 kilometers every Sunday to over 400,000 people.
8-80 Cities organized the International Study Tour on Open Streets/Ciclovia in 2010 in order to build the capacity of communities in North America interested in initiating similar programs of their own. In addition the Study Tour complemented the World Health Organization’s 1000 Cities 1000 Lives campaign that 8-80 Cities was proud to partner on which called on 1000 cities around the world to open their streets to people and close them to cars in April 2010.
The three day study tour offered on-site experiential learning, meeting with key organizers and coordinators/managers as well as in-classroom presentations and workshops. Participants were provided with relevant operational and management tools, international networking experiences and best practice knowledge based on successful international programs.
Along with the opportunity to experience the world class Via Recreativa and experience firsthand operational processes, participants were trained by and consulted with senior staff from Guadalajara’s Via Recreactiva, as well as leaders from other Ciclovias/Open Streets programs from Bogota Columbia, Portland Oregon, San Francisco California, and Cleveland, Ohio.
The Study Tour hosted representatives from Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Atlanta, Mexico City, Saint Paul, Roanoke, and Somervile- many of which used the tools from the study tour to initiate and implement their own programs!