October’s Awesome Ottawa Award goes to Neil Saravanamutoo and Erin Maher for helping put the “park” back in the “parkway.”
“Parkways for People is a coalition of organizations and people working to create transformative change in National Capital Parkways, with an emphasis on more active use. In 2020 and 2021, residents and visitors had unprecedented access to the National Capital Commission’s park roads for active use. “as a means of promoting well-being, exercise and safe socializing. The use of park roads for walking, cycling and rolling showed us how these spaces can be designed for people in addition to cars – with exceptional health, social and societal benefits,” says Neil.
“The overwhelming success of these road closures has made us question why we would ever want to return to the way it was before. As the 2021 NCC Weekend Bikedays end, many people are deeply concerned that this natural experimentation to reclaim park roads for humans will also come to an end and that the region will return to business as usual next year. “
“Parkways for People will act as a public voice to help new approaches move faster and further. We believe that the restoration of parkways can be as transformative for the National Capital Region as the introduction of the Rideau Canal Skateway was. in the early 1970s, Neil says.
You can find out more and give your support at parkwaysforpeople.ca.
Neil is the former chief economist of the G20’s infrastructure work and the father of two teenage girls. Erin is a federal government employee and mother of two young children.
Awesome Ottawa is part of a global movement of self-organizing chapters that forwards the interest in awesome in the universe, $ 1,000 at a time. At each chapter, about 10 trustees contribute $ 100 each month and review short applications received online to decide who should have the total funds – usually a local project, but sometimes a particularly great project far from home. Globally, over $ 5 million – $ 144,000 of that has already been allocated by Awesome Ottawa. For more information, visit awesomeottawa.ca.