The pope's visit to Philadelphia was a historic occasion. Not only was this only the second time that an acting Pope visited our city, but the security requirements that came along with his visit essentially created an enormous unintended Open Streets event in Center City.
Those who didn’t flee town and who ventured out into the city were treated to a car-free festival. Since that auspicious event took place, a group of local urbanists has banded together to campaign for holding a series of well-planned open streets event in the summer/fall. This group, Open Streets Philly, is now building the public and political support for this endeavor. There is already a lot of momentum coming off of the pope visit and Open Streets Philly is working to keep that going. To that end, we’re holding a screening of a series of short films about Open Streets event so that we can spread the word about the value of and the ways to hold Open Streets events in Philadelphia. We are also bringing together a group of panelists to tell us more about Open Streets and answer questions from attendees.
Moderator: Nate Hommel, Director of planning and design at University City District
- Mike Lydon, Principal at the Streets Plan Collaborative and author of Tactical Urbanism
- Beverly Brown, Owner of Temples in Shape Studio and coordinator for Black Girls RUN.
- Erick Guerra, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in City and Regional Planning at University of Pennsylvania
We want you to come take part, learn more about Open Streets, and join the movement to get Philly to join the scores of cities worldwide who are holding such events. RSVP today!
This event is sponsored by the University City District and the Penn Institute for Urban Research.
About the Panelists:
Mike Lydon is a Principal of The Street Plans Collaborative. As an internationally recognized planner, writer, and advocate for livable cities, his work has been featured by NPR, The New York Times, CNN Headline News, The Atlantic Cities, Planetizen, Grist, Salon, Next City, Architect Magazine, and Streetsblog, among other publications. Along with Tony Garcia, Mike is the author of Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change. Mike is also the creator and primary author of the The Open Streets Project, and with author Julie Flynn the editor and co-creator of Mercado: Lessons from 20 Markets across South America. Mike collaborated with Andres Duany and Jeff Speck in writing The Smart Growth Manual, honored by Planetizen as one of the top ten planning books of 2010.
Beverly Brown is the owner of Temples in Shape exercise studio and a run coordinator for Black Girls RUN! whose mission is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. A full-time criminal paralegal, Beverly still manages to inspire, encourage, and motivate her students by teaching eleven classes a week. Beverly is a well-rounded and educated fitness professional boasting degrees in Specialized Business and certifications in group exercise instruction, personal training, Spinning® and ZUMBA®. Her high energy and passion for fitness is consistently displayed through her dedication and love to help others reach their fitness goals. This dedication manifests again in Beverly's 2 B's Activewear fitness clothing line for women featuring her own clothing designs.
Erick Guerra, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in City and Regional Planning at University of Pennsylvania. He has published recent articles on the economic performance of US urban rail systems, suburban transit investments in Mexico City, and the role of land use in promoting high ridership and cost-effective transit service. His current research focuses on car ownership and driving rates in Mexico City’s fast-growing, suburban housing developments and planning for self-driving cars and other automated transportation technologies. As a practicing researcher and consultant, Erick has worked on a diverse range of planning-related topics, including housing investment and financial remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa; urban form and successful transit investments in the US; informal transportation in medium-sized Indonesian cities; and cross-border planning on the Island of Ireland.
Nate Hommel's primary goal in everything he does is to enhance urban quality of life. As both the Director of Planning and Design at University City District and an occasional Adjunct Professor at Philadelphia University he's able to work towards this goal each day. "As the Director of Planning and Design at UCD, I have my finger on the pulse of innovative and creative placemaking. Working on interventions such as parklets, pedestrian plazas, a revamped trolley portal, or one of the most vibrant public spaces in the city, the Porch at 30th Street Station. I'm thankful I get to work on so many projects that are making Philadelphia a better place. As an adjunct professor I'm able to lead a design studio each semester that becomes a laboratory for new ideas."
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