5 Lessons from the Growing Open Streets Movement

As Open Streets events become more popular and spread to cities all over the world, emerging trends show how to make the most of the opportunity to reclaim streets from cars for a few hours.

1 minute read

August 5, 2015, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Mike Lydon checks in on the state of open streets events around the world—with three new cities (Bangalore, India; Cape Town, South Africa; and Peterborough, Ontario) joining a roster of hundreds that are participating in a trend that actually got its start in Seattle in 1965.

To check in with the growing trend, and anticipate the upcoming 2015 National Open Streets Summit, Lydon provides a list of five trends "currently impacting open streets."

The list of trends also reads like a list of best practices for cities looking to commence with open streets events or build on past efforts.

The five trends include:

  • "Test Before You Invest" - Lydon here discusses cities like Los Angeles and Minneapolis, which have presented new streetscape and urban design features during open streets events. "Renderings in reall-time," Lydon calls it.
  • "Small Cities Do It Too" - Lydon notes that open streets events are becoming popular in smaller cities and suburbs, like Immokalee, FL (pop. 24,154); Wilsonville, OR (pop. 21,484); Buffalo, MN (pop. 15,825); and Decorah, Iowa (pop. 8,089).

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