Next Week in Livable Streets Events: Long Beach Takes Center Stage

It’s no secret to Streetsblog readers that Long Beach is staking it’s claim as being the most bike friendly city in the country.  While Portland and Minneapolis might have something to say about that, next week all eyes will be on Long Beach as a trio of national conferences focused on bicycling, walking and other livable streets issues take root in the city. With all of the conference attendees descending on The Beach, the city will also burnish its belief that what’s good for bikes is good for business.

Pro Walk Pro Bike may be the biggest draw, but the Women's Bicycling Summit has the best logo.

The above the fold headline will be the Pro Walk Pro Bike Conference organized by Project for Public Spaces and The National Center for Walking and Biking. The Conference runs from Monday the 10th through Thursday the 13th. Over 100 panels will examine issues ranging from the role of media in framing the issue to best practices in working with law enforcement offices. You can read the conference schedule, peruse a list of keynote speakers or sign up for either a daily or full week pass at the conference website.

Streetsblog and Streetfilms will be well represented at the conference. Streetsblog publisher and OpenPlans executive director Mark Gorton and Streetfilms founder Clarence Eckerson Jr. will be hopping across the country. Gary Kavanagh, our local Santa Monica Columnist, is taking a break from the real world to attend the entire conference and speak at a panel on Wednesday on the power of social media. I’ll be there on Monday and Tuesday as well and taking part in a panel discussion on strategies in working with the police.

At the end of the week, Project for Public Spaces will host a two-day place making session for transportation professionals looking to make a difference. “How to Turn a Place Around” introduces new ways of thinking about public spaces and how Placemaking can be used to bring communities together and revitalize underperforming spaces. Participants will explore the principles of making places through presentations, case studies of public space innovations, on- site evaluation and interactive discussions of critical issues and challenges.

Also in town is the Congress from New Urbanism, who’s 2012 Transportation Summit will take place this weekend, immediately preceding Pro Walk Pro Bike. The summit will have a unique format, wherein groups will work together to confront the limitations of the Functional Classification System and strategize to implement new urbanist street design techniques that go “Beyond Mobility.” Over the day-and-a-half meeting, these working groups will collaborate to define the barriers of implementation, discuss methods of reform and lay out an immediate work plan for the next year.  Get all the details at the summit’s website.

Also in town is the League of American Cyclists who sponsor the National Women’s Bicycling Summit.

The Summit will provide a unique opportunity to network, share best practices and develop action steps to get more women in your community out riding. It will provide the space for us to create a bike future where women of all backgrounds are equally represented on the streets and in the movement! Unfortunately, Sahra Sulaiman is away at the end of next week, so you’re stuck with me providing coverage. The Los Angeles cycling scene will be well-represented with Allison Mannos of Multicultural Communities for Mobility nee’ City of Lights, Yolanda Davis-Overstreet of Ride in Living Color, and this niche bicycling group known as the Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade. I’ve never heard of that last group.

The summit is all-day next Thursday. Get all the details at the League’s conference website.

 Of course, the locals have their own events scheduled for next week. Looking to take advantage of the army of progressive planners, advocates and engineers; City Fabrick leads a group of local advocates and America Walks a Walking Action Workshop. The event is free and open to the public. Get the event details here and read what a Walking Action Workshop is at this piece by Brian Addison from last week.
There’s a lot going on in Long Beach next week and if you see me, Gary, Brian, Clarence, Mark or any other Streetsbloggers wandering the area come over and say hi.
  • PC

    As a member of the general public who is, to say the least, interested in what urban planners and architects have in mind for the built landscape in which I’ll live for the next few years, I was really excited to read that this conference was happening near me. I got even more excited when I looked at some of the details of the sessions. Then I looked at the page where it tells you how much it costs to attend.

    Oh well. Have fun talking to each other, you big ol’ John Gaults, you!

    (I do look forward to Streetsblog’s coverage)

  • PC

    Galts, even…

    :)

  • Most of the people that go to these conferences have companies that pay for them to come, renting convention center’s cost money :) Or, they can get press passes.

  • PC

     “Most of the people that go to these conferences have companies that pay for them to come”

    That, I would suggest, is part of the problem. 

    There has got to be a way to get passionate members of the lay public involved in the conversation, even in a limited fashion, but this doesn’t seem to be a priority for the organizers of events like these.  $400/day or $700/week is a huge, huge barrier to entry for people who don’t have a company or org picking up the check.  Yes, it costs money to rent convention centers  And yes, the companies and advocacy orgs that send their employees/members to these things may well find the $400 or $700 money well spent, considering the networking opportunities and the chance to stay current on best practices and emerging trends and all that.

    I just think there ought to be a way for nonprofessionals to begin to plug into the liveable-streets process, other than the conventional ways (reading blogs and attending dumbed-down “outreach” events) to which we’re normally limited.  Boy oh boy, are we limited!  This stuff is important, life-and-death important.  Would it really be impossible to offer limited-participation, or “auditing,” passes for conferences like these at a reasonable (i.e. affordable to a working person paying out of pocket) price to members of the general public?  Or…something? 

    Anything?

  • BrianU

    Just so you know, the Walking Action Workshop City Fabrick is co-hosting is FREE and is meant for the public.  The goal of the event is to take advantage of national experts that were already in the LBC for the various conferences and have them share their expertise with local stakeholders.

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