24 August 2012

Our Communities, Our Lives

In my last post, I talked about how Turku, Finland, had created a community where bicyclists felt comfortable leaving their bikes unchained, and that entry got me thinking a little more about what the city had done.

Essentially, Turku made it easy for people to use bikes as a primary mode of transportation. In other words, bicycling was a valued priority. Another priority was an emphasis on outdoor activity in general. Aurajoki, a key river of the Turku area, flows through the city and has been turned into the center point for walking and bicycling. Well-maintained paths line both sides of the river, and they are used frequently. Check out the photos below:

My guess is that these paths are used for cross-country skiing and other snow-related activities in the winter.

Overall, Turku has committed to and created a safe, healthy, and environment-connected community for its residents. Clearly, their design for the area intentionally focused on these concerns, and once the heart of the design was identified, they set about making it a reality.

The message is that environmental efforts are about our desires for a high quality of life and a healthy environment. If think those things are indeed priorities, we have to make them happen.

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