Program Preview!

This September 12–15, Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place will convene in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference, if you are not familiar with it, happens every two years and features the latest research and best practices on building communities that are better for walking, better for biking and are what people would call places.

The theme of this year’s conference is Moving Towards a Healthier World, and it is a theme inspired by the host city’s ambitious plan to work consideration for health into all policies, programs and investments. Join us in Vancouver and you will see evidence everywhere of the region’s commitment to this goal: streets are being pedestrianized, viaducts are being removed and walking and bicycling infrastructure is being designed to the standard of All Ages and Abilities.

Vancouver sessions will be featured prominently in the conference program, which totals more than 200 sessions when Breakout Sessions, Poster Displays, Pecha Kucha Presentations and Mobile Workshops are counted. These presentations will be organized around the key conference focus areas of Mobility, Governance, Health and Resilience.

We are starting to confirm presentations and we are pleased to offer you a preview of the program.

Please take a look and follow us on twitter @WalkBikePlaces and subscribe to our conference newsletter for the latest updates. If you want to be a part of the action in Vancouver, we have plenty of options for participating.

Taking Back Our Streets: Demystifying Shared Streets in America

Shared Streets upend accepted road hierarchy by using design and materials to calm drivers and improve the walking experience. Join Dick van Veen as he discusses how this idea took root in Holland; Sarah Saviskas will explore how shared streets work, successful design techniques, and challenges for implementation in the United States; and Allison Duncan will discuss how cyclists perceive and travel through shared spaces.

Panelists: Allison Duncan, Portland State University; Sarah Saviskas, UC Berkeley; Dick van Veen, Mobycon

Amsterdam, NL, Photo by Project for Public Spaces

Next Urbanism: Livable Communities in a World with Driverless Vehicles

What will autonomous vehicles mean for the future of public spaces? Our Streets? Our Neighborhoods? Land use? Transit? Livability? As the timeline for adoption of driverless vehicles grows ever closer, it is increasingly important to discuss and consider the impact of these transformative technologies.

Panelists: Kelly Clifton and Kristina Currans, Portland State University; Robert Hastings, TriMet; Christopher Hedden, Cambridge Systematics; Nico Larco, University of Oregon/Department of Architecture; Brian Lee, Puget Sound Regional Council.

The future will look very much like this. (Screenshot — the Knight Industries Two Thousand)

Confronting the Mega Road Project

Could there be any better way to celebrate Jane Jacob’s 100th birthday than a session on fighting mega road projects? Could there be any better setting for this discussion than a city that has been successful in keeping freeways out, and just voted to teardown one of its viaducts?

Panelists: Trevor Budge, City of Greater Bendigo (AU); Shane Hampton, OU Institute for Quality Communities

Congestion in China (Screenshot)

Active Transportation in Canada’s New Geometric Design Guide

This session is about Canada’s Green Book. Join representatives from Alta Planning + Design and Stantec as they discuss proposed updates which include: safety countermeasures; guidance for off-street facilities; new bikeway types including protected, advisory and contra-flow bike lanes; and protected intersection and crossing treatments.

Panelists: Mark Seinen, Alta Planning + Design; Dean Cooper, Stantec; Gavin Davidson, Alta Planning + Design

Supporting Active Travel by Monetizing Health

How can the benefits of active transportation be incorporated into economic modeling and regional transportation planning? Do investments in active transportation reduce healthcare expenditures and illness? This panel will explore those questions and more using published research and case studies from Utah, Portland, Vancouver and Southern California.

Panelists: Rye Baerg, Southern California Association of Governments; Lawrence Frank, UBC; Nicole Iroz-Elardo, Urban Design 4 Health; Jennifer McGrath, Utah Transit Authority; Hind Sbihi, Research Associate, UBC

Cycling Cowboys: The Complete Story of Calgary’s Centre City Cycle Track Network Pilot

Hear from the team that created an almost instant network of separated bike lanes in Calgary! This session will show how a pilot approach could work in your city or region, and will provide attendees with a toolkit to plan, build and evaluate an entire cycle track network at once.

Panelists: Katherine Glowacz, City of Calgary; Ryan Martinson, Stantec; Thom Thivener, City of Calgary

Calgary Centre City Cycle Track (City of Calgary)

The Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Civic Engagement, Materials & Street Design

Many communities have had long term success improving their public spaces by implementing short term, temporary installations. Learn from the Tactical Urbanism experts about the different levels of temporary — a day, a month, a year — and how to choose the materials that match the goals and lifespan of the project.

Panelists: Julie Flynn, Anthony Garcia, and Mike Lydon, The Street Plans Collaborative