Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Arlington County looking for two "car free" skeptics

I've written in a number of ways about about Arlington's "Car Free Diet" program, as an illustration of innovative transportation demand management programming and as an example of what I now call "action planning" which integrates (1) design methodology; (2) social marketing; (3) the creation of complete branding and identity systems; (4) combined into an integrated program delivery system; (5) based on the idea of empowerment and participatory democracy.

While I may be into theory, the Arlington County Commuter Service Program is much more focused on practice. Last year, they cajoled two people, Todd and Ross, to take a "car free" challenge, and commit to getting around Arlington County on foot, by transit, and on bicycle, and they kept a diary of their experience through a variety of social media means (twitter, videos, Facebook entries, etc.). Todd lost seven pounds, and Ross sold his car!

For 2011, Arlington is doing the program again, and they are searching for two new County residents up to the challenge. The lucky two will receive the following support:

It may be called a "challenge," but according to ArCo, they'll be providing a lot of support to tackle the 30-day challenge, including:

- loaded SmarTrip card
- bike and biking gear from Revolution Cycles and BikeArlington
- membership to Capital Bikeshare
- detailed route maps to and from your work
- video camera to record your adventures

Visit the Arlington Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge website for more information and/or to enter. The deadline for entries is February 28th.



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