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Reflections of an Optimist

A blog by Debra Efroymson

“A defeatist attitude guarantees defeat”

Recent Blog Entries: Debra Efroymson

Learning to eat right

May 24, 2017 By Debra Efroymson Bangladesh, Healthy Eating, Livable Cities, Nutrition Post a comment!

I’m working with interns at the Institute of Wellbeing to start developing guidelines for school and university canteens that will be better for both health and the environment.

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Exercising our need to socialize

May 15, 2017 By Debra Efroymson Bangladesh, Dhaka, Exercise, Happiness, Socializing, Walking Post a comment!

How great it is when morning exercise is not only healthy and enjoyable, but a way to reconnect with others in our busy lives!

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Coffee without cigarettes?

April 18, 2017 By Debra Efroymson Smoke-free, Tobacco control, Vietnam Post a comment!

It’s great to see the international progress on tobacco control…but also useful (albeit painful) to have the occasional reminder of how far we still have to go.

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An ode to mixed use

March 21, 2017 By Debra Efroymson Cars, Cities, Exercise, Livable Cities, Urban Planning, Vietnam, Walking Post a comment!

Neighbourhoods that combine a mix of housing, shops, and other amenities make life easier and reduce unnecessary travel, key ingredients to a livable city!

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Carfree streets coming to Dhaka

February 7, 2017 By Debra Efroymson Cars, Cities, Dhaka, Exercise, Livable Cities, Public Spaces, Socializing Post a comment!

The mayor of Dhaka north is following through with his commitment to create carfree streets ...

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Redefining Amazing

January 11, 2017 By Debra Efroymson Accessibility, Dhaka, Happiness Post a comment!

It is too easy to believe that only those of us with "respectable" professions make a contribution in the world, and to believe that we should be entitled to all the respect...

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The Three-Headed Monster

October 30, 2016 By Debra Efroymson Cars, Livable Cities Post a comment!

At a recent conference on walking (Walk21) in Hong Kong, I presented on a panel about partnerships. My talk was not only about the groups that people promoting walking could work with, but also the ones we should avoid. Namely, big businesses that are contributing to the problems faced by pedestrians (and cyclists, and public transit users) in cities around the world. My "three-headed monster" is the car/motorbike,…

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Visiting a vastly more liveable Hanoi!

October 11, 2016 By Debra Efroymson Cars, Cities, Cycling, Exercise, Happiness, Livable Cities, Public Spaces, Urban Planning, Vietnam, Walking Post a comment!

 The streets were full of life: thriving sidewalk cafes with diners watching the activity on the streets, children cycling, musicians playing, traditional actors performing, and a sense of enjoyment of the city.

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Carfree Day Celebrations

September 21, 2016 By Debra Efroymson Accessibility, Advocacy, Cars, Cities, Cycling, Dhaka, Exercise, India, Livable Cities, Public Spaces, Urban Planning, Walking Post a comment!

Our events include various types of playful activities in the streets, to raise awareness of how much more space—and fun—we could have if our streets weren’t clogged with cars.

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Promoting accessibility and inclusivity: big words, but can we achieve them?

August 22, 2016 By Debra Efroymson Accessibility, Cities, Dhaka, Livable Cities, Urban Planning Post a comment!

When a city is completely inaccessible for people with disabilities, where do we start? Or should we just throw up our hands and declare defeat? 

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