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Posts tagged "Australia"

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Melbourne: A Pedestrian Paradise

Finally cajoled into taking the long trip to Melbourne, I was told to expect a city where walking abounded, where the streets were flowing with energy, where the quality of public space would blow my mind. Little did I know my already high expectations would be pleasantly exceeded.

Melbourne is simply wonderful. You can get lost in the nooks and crannies that permeate the city. As you walk you feel like free-flowing air with no impediments to your enjoyment. For a city with nearly 4 million people, the streets feel much like the hustle and bustle of New York City but without omnipresent danger and stress cars cause.

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StreetFilms
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Lounging & Lollygaging in Wodonga

David Engwicht is a livable streets philosopher and author. Creator of the Walking School Bus, Mental Speed Bumps and many other innovative ways of taming traffic and increasing pedestrian safety, he has taken on "the challenge of a lifetime" to revitalize the downtown district of Wodonga, a small city in Australia often referred to as "Struggle Town" in comparison to its sister city Albury just across the Murray River.

Watch the video to see great placemaking in action. Engwicht has initiated the successful Lounging on High Friday night series. The diverse programming features giant versions of board games and an eclectic range of seating options, the goal being to encourage residents to take back their streets and re-imagine what is possible. To create a more human pace, on these Friday nights Wodonga closes one street and removes two lanes of car travel on another to encourage relaxation and fun.

David Engwicht (left): "If we can do this here...any city can take back their public space."