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Guest on The Infra Blog: Scott Bricker, Director, America Walks

Posted by Steve Anderson on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Scott Bricker, Director, America WalksScott Bricker has worked for over fifteen years to make communities healthy and sustainable through bicycling, walking and urban design. Scott is proud to serve as the Director of America Walks, the only national organization dedicated to improving all aspects of walking in America. Scott is also the CEO of Bricker Consulting, a firm that specializes in bicycle and pedestrian planning, strategy and advocacy. Scott’s work history includes serving 11 years at Oregon’s Bicycle Transportation Alliance, holding positions of Executive Director, Political Director, and Education Director; Scott also worked for public and private sector. Scott earned his Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University, and Bachelor’s of Political Science from the University of Albany, New York. Scott lives in a ”Walker’s Paradise” Portland, Oregon neighborhood boasting a ‘Walk Score’ of 91 and world-class bicycle routes and transit service.

Why Compact Communities Are Strong
…providing safe and accommodating walking routes for people effectively ensures that everyone has equal access to services and employment, education, recreation, where people play and pray, et cetera. It’s a fundamental aspect of equal mobility access. There’s also a fair amount of research that shows that communities that are walkable, that have places that are close to each other, are economically vibrant.

Making Cities Walkable Again
Historically, cities were planned for walking, and the infrastructure was such that people would be able to walk…there has been a significant, 50-year-plus period of suburban sprawl where the focus was away from people and towards the automobile from a mobility standpoint. That separation between where people live, where people work and where people choose to go for their other needs and recreation, effectively eliminates the ability for people to walk for transportation reasons…

Now More Than Ever, People Want Walkability
…there are a lot of similarities between the 50-plus and the millennials who are really seeking out cities and towns where they don’t need to own a car, where they can funnel their limited financial resources in other places. So we’re really seeing the convergence of that piece specifically, and in addition many cities and elected officials and leaders are recognizing this and are reacting…

The Purpose of Cities: Bringing People Together
…we know that our cities are still vibrant because people want to and need to be near each other in order to innovate, in order to collaborate. So while technology allows us to have this interview across the country, and you can have peers and colleagues across the country and across the world, people are still efficient and effective and still desire the face-to-face proximity of each other. So we need to design strategies to make sure that happens.

America Walks: Making the World a More Walkable Place
Our base component is supporting local advocates with technical assistance and campaign strategy development to make their communities more walkable and increase walking. We also have a national partnership called the Everybody Walk Collaborative with over 100 national and local organizations that are collaborating…And then we do advocacy at the national level to advance policies and funding for walking and walkability.

Download full transcript (PDF): Scott Bricker on The Infra Blog

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