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Reflections of an Optimist

A blog by Debra Efroymson

“A defeatist attitude guarantees defeat”

Recent Blog Entries: Debra Efroymson

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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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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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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. 

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