During Open Streets events, cars are restricted from driving on certain streets so that people may walk, run, bike, skate, dance and play for a few hours each week, most commonly on Sundays. Common in Latin America, these events give communities a safe and affordable environment in which to come together for exercise and play.
Open Streets have shown so much promise in Latin America that Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funded a group of 20 professionals representing a variety of organizations, including former Institute scholar Aaron Hipp, to participate in one of the world’s most successful Open Streets programs in Guadalajara, Mexico.
As noted on AARP’s Livable Communities blog, “RWJF hopes to build broad support and awareness about the potential Open Streets programs can play in changing the culture of health in our cities and ultimately reduce the prevalence of obesity. ‘There is no public health system in the world that can survive if it is only curative. It has to be preventive,’ says Gil Penalosa of 8-80 Cities, the organization working with RWJF to promote Open Streets in the US.”
Check out the video of Via RecreActiva in Guadalajara from the AARP:
Aaron Hipp received seed funding from the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging to develop research on promoting older adult participation in Open Street events.