Denmark and Sweden, the Benefits of Sustainable Infrastructure for Cities, Neighborhoods and Rural Communities
Have you always wanted to sit on top of a wind turbine? You will be able to do that if you join Washington state legislators and private sector leaders from September 17-22, 2017 to Denmark and Sweden to learn about how cities, neighborhoods, and rural communities in these countries have benefited from sustainable infrastructure. We'll see exceptional examples of renewable and sustainable energy, energy independent communities, Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) tall buildings, stormwater infrastructure that that doubles for recreation and, yes, if you are willing and able, you will be able to sit on top of a wind turbine.
Vienna and Cities Along the Danube, Austria, Urban Sustainability
Join i-SUSTAIN from October 15-20, 2017, to learn why Vienna is consistently rated the most livable city in the world. We’ll also visit other cities along the Danube who are leading in sustainable development.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Vienna and the surrounding region are culturally and musically among the richest areas in the world, and that there is a good, lively mix of cool cafés and bars, galleries, shops, and street markets. We will certainly enjoy these things, but most importantly for our purposes is the infrastructure and housing options that make it possible for residents of all incomes to afford all the city has to offer. This includes one of the best public transit systems in the world, innovative and attractive new 7-story neighborhoods that use Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) extensively for building construction, the HoHo project which includes a 27-story CLT building (70% of it to be built with wood), excellent bicycling infrastructure, and different ways of ensuring affordable housing. We will also be going to cities along the Danube, including Graz, who are leaders in sustainable building.
The Alentejo Region of Portugal, Exploring the Land of Marble, Cork and Wine
This is the first of our international series of bicycling through wine regions, May 21-26, 2017. This i-ADVENTURE trip includes riding through cork forests, hiking at a marble quarry and going to a different winery each night.
We started i-ADVENTURES to provide our friends, many who started out as clients, with another way to travel together...one focused on enjoying the good things that different regions of the world have to offer. i-ADVENTURES are for friends and friends of friends...the only criteria to become a friend (if you aren't already) and participate is that you like to have a good time with other smart, fun people, and appreciate other cultures. If you meet that criteria, join us! i-ADVENTURE trips are active, but we organize them in such a way that they suit all abilities and interests. For example, our bike rides will have sag support to accommodate those who don't want to ride at all, just want to ride for part of the day, and even those who want to be challenged, sweaty, and exhausted by the time we show up at the winery. Photo credit: Marmetal
Unless you are super spontaneous it's probably too late for you to come with us to Portugal if you aren't already signed up. Join us on future i-ADVENTURES winery region tours to South Africa (Jan. 2018), New Zealand (2019), Chile (2020) and Slovenia (2011). If you have your own group of friends that you would like to travel with (kayaking in Newfoundland, anyone?) but don't want to be bothered with the planning, let i-SUSTAIN do the work for you. For more information, contact Patricia Chase at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 206-349-4901.
Westlake Protected Bike Lane in Seattle, WA
Seattle’s Westlake Cycle Track opened in Fall 2016 and is a linchpin in the Bicycle Masterplan’s goals for well-connected, safe routes that serve a diverse range of user abilities. A number of its features were inspired by an i-SUSTAIN cycling infrastructure research mission to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmö, Sweden, for City of Seattle transportation planners. Their participation was possible through generous scholarships from the Scan|Design Foundation which provided the funding for them to attend.
Kevin O’Neill, Street Use Director at the City of Seattle, and an i-SUSTAIN delegation participant, notes that “the cycling infrastructure in Denmark and Sweden emphasizes the importance of having safe, separated facilities to make people comfortable using the system and entice all kinds of riders, not just niche athletic riders.” The attention given to safety and accessibility in the Westlake project can be witnessed in the amount of cycling families pleasure-cruising with kids on the weekends.
Another participant, Dongho Chang, City Traffic Engineer at the City of Seattle, is impressed at the number of people Copenhagen and Malmö are able to move safely. "We blended the concepts of Copenhagen’s one-way separated bike lanes and Malmö’s two-way cycling and pedestrian facilities in the Westlake project,” he said.
The 1.2 mile (2 km) Westlake Cycle Track scenically hugs Lake Union and connects the Fremont neighborhood with South Lake Union. This path will eventually continue from South Lake Union to downtown Seattle.
The path is attractive in many ways but particularly for its flatness — a noteworthy feature in hilly Seattle. A longstanding route connecting Fremont to downtown, Dexter Avenue, has a number of grade changes which has been a deterrent to some riders. Westlake Avenue had no official cycling facilities but many people wove their way through the parking lots in order to avoid the Dexter hill — not an ideal solution. However, businesses on the proposed path were concerned that putting in an official bike path would reduce parking. It did, but only by 10%, leaving 1,300 spaces for cars.
i-SUSTAIN participant, Sam Woods, of the City of Seattle's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program said, "My exposure to high quality bicycle infrastructure during the i-SUSTAIN research mission not only inspired me, but solidified my resolve that if you build a network of connected, safer bicycle facilities we would move the needle on the bicycle mode share. The Westlake Cycle Track is part of this vital network and will move the needle!"
In our next newsletter, we will feature Seattle's Green Factor, inspired by Malmö's Green Space Factor. We would like to hear from people who were impacted by their experience in Malmö, and/or were involved in creating Seattle's Green Factor and their experience incorporating it into projects. Please contact Sandy Neale at email@example.com.