Cycling / Public Spaces / street art / tactical urbanism / Walking / workshop

Communities on the Move: Inspiring welcoming spaces to walk and cycle in Fairview, NC

Mary Elbech and Emily Thomason from the Mobycon team enjoyed working with the next generation of community planners for an in-person workshop! Held on July 22nd, 2022 the workshop was delivered for a group of community interns to identify and discuss neighborhood challenges and possible solutions to make their neighborhood a more pleasant place to walk and bike.

This workshop is the result of funding from the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC). The program – Communities on the Move – utilizes demonstration projects to enable residents in North Carolina communities to advocate for longer-term change to the built environment. The goal of this effort being to increase both opportunities for physical activity and community participation in the public process.

Focus of the workshop centered around the planned walking route for Walk Fairview Day, an event initiated by last year’s group of interns. Walk Fairview Day brings community members and decision makers together to walk, ride, or roll a loop around the community with an eye to improving the safety and comfort of that experience. This intern-created initiative is anticipated to become an annual event and a catalyst for short- and long-term community change.

In two teams, interns discussed and mapped challenges, brainstormed possible solutions, and created a game-plan to realize those ideas. In particular, they are excited to add color to and customize the community center, which used to be a police office and continues to bear the signs of its more bureaucratic origins. They have plans for colorful wall murals and inviting chalk art installations.

The Mobycon team enjoyed attending Walk Fairview Day on August 6th, 2022 and seeing how the interns’ enthusiasm translated into a more colorful space and advocacy for safety and comfort in their neighborhood. Below are some images from this year’s event.