World Renowned Urbanist tells Aburg Crowd to Slow Down


A world renowned urbanist told a large crowd in Amherstburg that slower traffic can transform a neighbourhood.

Gil Penalosa was a guest speaker at the Amherstburg Community Foundation's 'Leaders Speaker' Series at the Libro Centre.

He says when cities and town look at making a liveable community, they need to include everyone from ages 8 to 80.

He supports reducing speed limits in residential neighbourhoods from 50km/hour down to 30km/hour saying it creates a safer community.

"On the neighbourhood street, nevertheless, you need to go to zero at every stop. So instead of going from zero to fifty back to zero, now you will go from zero to thirty back to zero and only the neighbourhood streets."

He points out when a person is hit by a car at 30km/hour, they have a 5% chance of being killed — compared to when a person is hit by a car at 50km/hour, there is a 80% of being killed.

Penalosa says communities need to invest in programs and activities to get people out of their homes, not just investing in infrastructure.

"The community is a lot safer when people are out," he says.  "When you go to the park and it is empty, empty parks are fertile grounds for gangs and drugs and other things."

Penalosa also suggested better lighting in the winter, because there is less daylight hours.