It’s a world (online) premiere! Seattle Bike Blog is happy to host the online release of Microcosm Publishing’s Groundswell #7: Gentrification Response Team.
For years, Elly Blue and Joe Biel over at Microcosm Publishing have been touring the country visiting towns small and large to talk about bicycling. They have met and listened to people at the grassroots who see bicycling as a tool for change — all kinds of change.
“Joe and I had both been to a bunch of transportation conferences, and we kept hearing the same exact stories told over and over,” said Blue via email. “The narrative underlying those canonical stories is basically that a visionary planner or elected official or bicycle advocacy organization appears in a city, says, ‘Let there be bike lanes,’ and then, lo, the people come and ride bikes gratefully on their new infrastructure.
“But we’ve been traveling extensively with the Dinner and Bikes tour for the past six years, meeting people all over the country, and the stories we saw unfolding were very different. The people who take the risks and have the initial visions are usually regular people who want to make their community better and see bicycling as a tool—often one tool among many—for doing that.”
The seventh video of the series takes place in Portland, but it was produced with help from a delegation from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (you can hear Phyllis Porter from Rainier Valley Greenways conducting some of the interviews). This trip was one big impetus for Seattle’s first two Summer Parkways events this year.
Sunday Parkways is an amazing open streets event in Portland that get vital support from the city and sponsors. But the energy comes from the people and the neighborhoods where they happen. The events obviously don’t solve all the problems of gentrification, but the hope is that people will at least get to better know each other if they party together in the streets.
Watch the world online premiere: