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Model City for Healthy Living – Manhattan

On August 9 the big apple took on some responsibility for pushing the green agenda and new urbanism by banning cars along seven miles of streets through the heart of the city.

This is part of the city’s Summer Streets program.  Feedback from pedestrians (including a video) was provided on the Cool Town Studios website – I’ve pasted one of the responses below:

The general interest as we can see is that people want to take over the streets.  People want to have fun, and people want to meet out as equals, and this creates a sense of belonging, and this is what makes New York the greatest city in the world.

As someone who grew up in a “popular” big city and then lived in a number of not so popular mid west cities, this is so good to hear.  During my first year living just outside Cleveland I asked a colleague at my suburban office location for directions to Playhouse Square–a well known, historic theater in the city.  She looked at me like I had horns on my head and told me she had no idea as she hadn’t been downtown in 10 or 15 years (her suburban home is about 30 minutes from the city). She added (with emphasis):

Why would you want to go downtown – it’s frightening down there.

The only way to make our cities less “frightening” and more welcoming is to encourage more people to go into their cities…to socialize…to learn new things….to be entertained…to live.

Re-introducing suburbanites and our rural cousins to the wonderful sites, buildings and creative corners of “their” cities is one of the best ways to enhance our regions and improve the safety and viability of urban centers in America. This is difficult to do if cities are places only seen as a blur or a place to avoid by large segments of our vital populations.

Our regions and our country depend on the health and success of the children, teens, adults, poets, single parents, construction laborers, doctors, businesses and so many others who call our cities home.  Thank you New York for using your leverage as a high profile city to promote healthy city living.


  1. Wow. I didn’t even know this and I live about 30 min outside of Manhattan. I haven’t been to Manhattan since before David Dinkins was mayor just because of the congestion and the over all noise level of the city. Since I am from a small suburban city, honestly, Manhattan is just too busy for me.

    But “summer streets” – sounds like a good plan!


  2. Thanks for great post! I love how you can walk anywhere in Manhattan, and this is good news for me! Moving back to New York in a few weeks, so I’m excited to see this in person.

  3. Great take on why programs like “Summer Streets” are so important. That quote about “downtown” being scary is so commonplace, I’ve been told it many a time. But oddly downtown is actually clean, safe an fun! So hopefully this is one of many was to re-introduce the city to the suburbs.

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