Safe Communities is a WHO model that pursues safety promotion, it recognizes that people who live in a community have a good understanding of their needs, problems and capacities. For this case, health promotion advocates for pedestrians –the vulnerable road users. After all, walking safe is a major issue in Mexico City and a vital asset in our neighborhood, where this need is not met.
The health promotion perspective on public space strives for safe and satisfied pedestrians. The commitment of community members is important in identifying resources for achieving a local healthy public space grounded on people`s involvement, government accountability and optimized pedestrian infrastructure.
My first research and practice were devoted to restoring a sidewalk. Now, it is time to go for a 1.2 km safe pedestrian route as a bottom-up initiative. It is the daily walkway of about twelve thousand residents and visitors, since it leads to schools and connects to public transport hubs at both ends. The objective is to reshape this urban environment based on traffic calming and road diet to protect pedestrians. This path will also be a place to sit and encourage active mobility so as to make it comfortable and safe for people on foot.
We attracted a compensation measure thorough the Urban Development Law. Government enabled our demand by enforcing the private sector due to a mall development. The developer was mandated to design the project under technical guidelines and partially construct the pedestrian route within 2018.
There are highly dense pedestrian areas in Mexico City where sustainable mobility policy and safety promotion are not happening unless demanded by citizens. The place we live, the physical environment, and our streets are health determinants. Therefore, we should advocate for healthy public space as a goal to safe and sustainable communities.
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