HealthBridge works with partners world-wide to improve health and health equity through research, policy and action.


Reflections of an Optimist

A blog by Debra Efroymson

“A defeatist attitude guarantees defeat”

Recent Blog Entries: Debra Efroymson

Celebrating World Carfree Day

September 24, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Advocacy, Children, Dhaka, Happiness, Livable Cities, Public Spaces, Socializing Post a comment!

What happens when we take a tiny bit of road space away from cars and motorbikes, and turn it over to people? An explosion of fun and joy; expansion of social networks; and a realization that this would be a really great thing to do throughout the city and throughout the year!

Keep reading

It doesn’t get much better than this

September 13, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Advocacy, Cycling, Exercise, Happiness, Livable Cities, Socializing, Urban Planning, Walking Post a comment!

We could say that it is impossible to make significant changes to reduce climate change, and thus to accept devastating results. Or we could be brave and work towards a solution that would not only dramatically reduce carbon emissions, but make our cities, and thus our lives, better in ever so many ways.

Keep reading

Does over-specializing make it impossible to solve global problems?

September 8, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Advocacy, Cycling, Public Transit, Walking Post a comment!

We can try to solve one global problem at a time. If so, we should not be surprised that we are not getting very far. It would be far more sensible to look for connections and engage in actions that would address a number of important issues, including economics, health, environment, and social wellbeing.

Keep reading

Alphabet soup vs. honesty

August 18, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Advocacy, Cycling, Livable Cities, Public Transit, Urban Planning, Walking Post a comment!

We can explain away every single car crash...but perhaps it's time that we noticed that it is cars themselves that are deadly.

Keep reading

Ghost bicycles…and beyond

July 29, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Livable Cities, Urban Planning, Walking Post a comment!

Ghost bicycles remind us of the dangers of cycling and the need for safer road conditions...but what if we also had daily reminders of the total death toll from motorized vehicles?

Keep reading

Why not walk?

July 14, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Dhaka, Exercise, Livable Cities, NCDs, Walking Post a comment!

Traveling from one place to another, if it is not particularly far, makes most sense on foot. Walking can be fun; it requires no parking space; it’s exercise; it allows for a full appreciation of the surrounding scenes; it costs nothing. Beyond all that, it just makes sense. 

Keep reading

Bottled folly

July 6, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Healthy Eating Post a comment!

Remember when those lucky enough to live in a country with potable water drank it straight from the tap? It seemed the most natural thing in the world to hold a glass under the tap, fill it, and drink. I remember the pleasure on returning to the States from my Peace Corps stint in Guatemala and being able to do so.

Keep reading

It wasn’t my fault!!

June 16, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Livable Cities Post a comment!

“It’s not my fault.” “He wasn’t paying attention.” “She suddenly jumped in front of my car.”

Recently, ironically enough on the way home from doing a recording for a documentary on carfree cities, our car bumped into a pedestrian. My driver and the other passengers immediately launched into a chorus similar to the above phrases: he should…

Keep reading

Giving street vendors their proper place

May 31, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Healthy Eating, Livable Cities, Public Spaces, Socializing, Urban Planning Post a comment!

What role do street vendors play in cities? Does it make sense to ban them or should we work to preserve them?

Keep reading

Markets vs. supermarkets

May 15, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Healthy Eating, Livable Cities, NCDs, Urban Planning Post a comment!

Helping people make healthy food choices requires access to sellers of fruits and vegetables...preferably without the temptation of buying ultra-processed food. Markets do just that and are great for local economies, but can pose a threat to big business, and thus can be subject to bans. But we can fight back.

Keep reading