Imagine if you were given a new way to explore your city or town – that there was little in the way of barriers to do so – and that you would also be contributing to your health while helping to de-escalate stress, congestion, pollution – Would you support it?
The Open Streets event is happening this weekend in our neck of the woods! And while real progress toward inclusive and interconnected roadways in Canada and the U.S. has been ignored, for the most part – not just for recreation, but for everyday family life, the necessity of inclusive, increased access to work. Yet we remain hopeful – for good reason.
So in the spirit of Open Streets and of good things to come, today we’re opening up discussions about the bike – with a little help from Chris and Melissa Bruntlett of Vancouver’s Modacity. And we need all the help we can get because while having more open streets presents a new freedom of choice for mobility – for families, health and work access – it’s not free, and with that comes all sorts of politics!
About Today’s Guests:
In the summer of 2010, the Chris and Melissa Bruntlett sold their only car – they were raising two very small children at the time.
Their experience eventually led them to start Modacity, an organization in which they employ writing, photography, film, and social media – their experiences really, to demonstrate how to live and function quite well, even better than most perhaps, while using multi-modal transportation. And they’ve just written a book – Building the Cycling City: the Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality.
– but really in many ways, their work is just beginning as they now begin to educate the land on all they have learned – and for them, it begins with the bike. I reached Chris and Melissa from their home in Vancouver earlier this week – tune in to hear our conversation!
Melissa believes it is imperative to build cities that work for every citizen and uses her experience as a writer, marketer, producer, and mother to share the human perspective of multi-modal transportation to a mainstream audience.
With a background in sales, marketing, and project management, and serving as an active volunteer in her community, she is continually developing written, visual, and audio content that inspires and challenges organizations to reach out to a broad audience, and promote more livable urban environments.
“I strive to create cities where my children can flourish, and where the simple act of moving through their city is a safe, simple, and enjoyable act.”
Chris is an Architectural Designer who has always used the humble bicycle to get around. After moving to Vancouver, he saw officials focusing their efforts on policy and infrastructure while overlooking a critical third prong of increasing ridership: marketing the cycling lifestyle. He felt motivated to address the gap filled by advocacy groups and the bike industry, who fell into the trap of dangerizing, politicizing, and overcomplicating the act of cycling.
Seven years later, he and Melissa co-founded Modacity, which – through their work as writers, filmmakers, photographers, and speakers- inspires “healthier, happier, simpler forms of mobility.” Their stories of cities around the world have been featured in Momentum Magazine, Grist, Spacing, and Huffington Post.