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Reflections of an Optimist

A blog by Debra Efroymson

“A defeatist attitude guarantees defeat”

Recent Blog Entries: Debra Efroymson

Odd-even or something sensible?

February 5, 2016 By Debra Efroymson Cars, Cycling, Dhaka, Livable Cities, Public Transit, Urban Planning, Walking Post a comment!

It’s great to see cities like Delhi and Dhaka try to reduce the use of cars...but it would be far better if they chose solutions that have been proven effective elsewhere.

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Streets for people: making the dream an international reality

January 19, 2016 By Debra Efroymson Cars, Children, Cycling, Happiness, Livable Cities, Public Spaces, Socializing Post a comment!

I often blog about what I would like to see happen...today I write about sharing of some of our successful programs to return street spaces to more important uses than just traffic jams for cars.

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Making it easier for people to stay healthy

January 12, 2016 By Debra Efroymson Exercise, Healthy Eating, NCDs, Walking Post a comment!

Individual-based approaches to health promotion are of little use when the surrounding environment makes it harder for people to act on what they know. Ads for unhealthy foods and for tobacco, combined with surroundings that make it difficult to walk, will make it less likely that people eat properly and get enough exercise. We need environments that enable healthy lifestyles.

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Promoting health, resisting corporate influence

January 5, 2016 By Debra Efroymson Advocacy, Cars, Dhaka, Livable Cities Post a comment!

Promoting health requires government policies to reduce the ability of corporations to promote health-damaging products. In order to build the skills of its network members, HealthBridge's local partner held a workshop a couple days ago...in which the main presenters were people with disabilities.

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Better environment, healthier people

January 1, 2016 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Health care, Healthy Eating, NCDs, Walking Post a comment!

Health is about much more than health care...so HealthBridge is helping to organize an upcoming conference in Dhaka on the importance of health promotion to create an environment which makes it easier for people to stay healthy...and avoid all the misery of falling ill.

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But everyone wants a car!

December 10, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Cars, Children, Happiness, Livable Cities, Public Spaces Post a comment!

We take very seriously people's desire to own a car or motorbike...why do we pay so little attention to people's demands for affordable housing, quality education and health care, and attractive, usable public spaces? Would people value car ownership less if they realized what the ownership means in terms of other choices...?

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The ideology of the automobile

November 25, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Cars, Livable Cities Post a comment!

We easily accept that cars confer status...but why do we not question the idea?

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Learning (again) to appreciate walking

November 18, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Exercise, Happiness, Livable Cities, Walking Post a comment!

Those of us who can easily walk easily take it for granted; those with far more obstacles to walking can, ironically, enjoy it far more. Just a few reflections on the topic as we work towards cities where everyone, regardless of age, sex, or physical challenges, can enjoy the simple but exquisite pleasure of a long walk.

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Conferencing

October 31, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Funding, Livable Cities, Walking Post a comment!

Recently returned from a conference about walking, I cannot help but reflect on the oddity of the topic ...

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The biggest obstacle to carfree cities isn’t impracticality

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

It may be hard to imagine a carfree city and even harder to believe that one would be possible. But the first step towards creating change is to believe in it! I invite you to open your mind to the possibility of a vastly better life...and then start working to achieve it.

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