The Rise of Open Streets

Streetfilms has been documenting the open streets movement for over seven years, beginning with our landmark film in 2007 on Bogota’s Ciclovia, currently the most viewed Streetfilm of all time.

The next year, Mike Lydon of The Street Plans Collaborative decided to get an open streets event going in Miami, which led to his research for The Open Streets Project, a joint project with the Alliance for Biking & Walking.

Miami wasn’t alone. In 2008, there were new open streets events in more than a dozen cities, including San Francisco, Portland and New York. All told, open streets events have increased tenfold since 2006.

“The Rise of Open Streets” examines the open streets movement from myriad perspectives — how it began, how events are run, how they shape people’s perceptions of their streets, and how creating car-free space, even temporarily, benefits people’s lives. And it looks not only at big cities like Los Angeles, but smaller ones like Fargo, Berkeley, and Lexington.

We’ve interviewed some of the most important people in the movement, including former NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and former Chicago DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, as well as former Bogota Parks Commissioner Gil Penalosa and Enrique Jacoby, from the Pan American Health Organization.

We were proud to partner with The Street Plans Collaborative and the Alliance for Biking & Walking to produce this film, which we hope will encourage even more open streets events throughout the world. Funding for “The Rise of Open Streets” was graciously provided by the Fund for the Environment & Urban Life.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Health Benefits of Ciclovia Events Outweigh Costs

|
Ciclovia, Sunday Parkways, Open Streets, Walk and Roll — no matter what your community calls its car-free street event, they are well worth the effort, according to a new study published in the Journal of Urban Health. A careful cost-benefit analysis of Ciclovia-style events in four different countries found that the health benefits of these […]

The Permanent Effect of Temporary Street Closures

|
So, we all love a good street party, yes? But at some point, the party is over… right? Or is it? That’s what Joan Pasiuk over at the Streetsblog Network member blog Transit for Livable Communities, in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, is asking. Noting the popularity of festive street-closure events in cities around the […]

Will the Pope’s Visit Lead to Massive Car-Free Days in Philly?

|
Since Pope Francis’s visit this weekend, #pOpenstreets has become a rallying cry in Philadelphia. The hashtag has turned into a collective record of photos and insights about the surprising amount of fun and freedom that city residents enjoyed when 4.7 square miles of the city center went car-free. Impromptu soccer games and bike rides, a lot […]

The Inside Story of How Chicago Built the Dearborn Street Bike Lane

|
Editor’s note: As transportation commissioner for DC and later Chicago, Gabe Klein was pivotal in the development of a new model for big-city DOTs. Along with Janette Sadik-Khan in New York, Klein (who sits on the board of OpenPlans, the organization that publishes Streetsblog) pioneered an approach that prioritized people instead of cars and emphasized the importance of […]