Del-POP Dispatch #15 – August 2022

Who’s next door?
Have you talked to your neighbors lately? If not, why? Neighborhoods are always growing and evolving, even if it’s hard to tell when looking from the outside in. Knowing your neighbors is an excellent way to feel more connected to your community. It’s a first step to fostering healthy, vibrant communities of people that know and support each other. Make your block a people-oriented-place by getting to know your neighbors.
Del-POP Park Hangout – August 18
Join us for our monthly meetup in North Delta Community Park, 7-8:30 pm. We will be discussing our on-going education projects, current housing issues and wins, and local transportation topics.
RSVP
Shared Streets and Healthy Communities

Something that is not considered in North America and often overlooked in many Canadian suburbs is the idea of shared use streets and reasonable mixed use development. When the automobile started overtaking the life of the average citizen on the west coast, nearly a hundred years ago, the built environment was a much different place. Drivers had to be aware of pedestrians, trolley/street cars, cyclists and even horses pulling buggies. Roads were a shared space where people had the right of way, no matter their mode of transportation. This is no longer the case, and we have seen a dramatic shift to a car first society where pedestrians, cyclists and public transit users are an afterthought, or even tragic roadside “accidents”. Many alternative modes of transportation are illegal, ignored or caught and crippled in the same automobile congestion of the day to day commuter grind. The car first approach has had a number of long lasting effects as a result of a near century of automobile industry lobbying, from increased traffic congestion and air pollution, to a decrease in physical activity and neighbourly interaction. This is not only bankrupting our communities fiscally due to long term infrastructure upkeep costs of roads and urban sprawl, but bankrupting ourselves socially. There are often neighbours who barely know one another, even after years of living across the street from each-other, as rather than participating in their local communities social sphere, people end up going to places that can be reached conveniently by vehicles that are closer to work, rather than near their homes.

It is time to re-think the way we design our streets and move towards a more sustainable and economically viable way of building out our neighbourhoods. A small step to improving the situation is pushing for local political action at the municipal level to open up zoning to “quiet enjoyment residential business usage.” This can include but not be limited to, small corner grocers, cafes such as The Beach Grove Café, bakeries, and crafty entrepreneurial retail stores that not only bring a small scale equitable economic income to the community, but fantastic character and a stronger sense of community. There used to be a time before when neighbours would look out for one another, and the famous urbanist (one of my heroes), Jane Jacobs, describes the concept of “Eyes on the Street” in her book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” The idea being that people watching and interacting with their surroundings creates a sense of community and responsibility to one another, which not only makes for a happier place to live, but one that your kids will want to stay and raise their kids in. Sharing the street and bringing back “quiet enjoyment residential business usage” is a great place to start, and pushing for local change and small scale community equability can have profound effects on the overall health and well being of not only our economic and obvious environmental health, but bring out a neighbourly sense of identity and community that many of us are deeply craving.

-Corbin Auriti
Learn how to Del-POP

Del-POP created a mega-playlist of videos we’re big fans of and want you to discover!: 
Del-POP Recommended Videos On Youtube
Zoning rules only allow standalone homes in most residential areas: CBC News
Where did Vancouver’s children go?: The Tyee
Paris to be a 15-minute city: Twitter Post
Network Statistics
As of August 8, 2022 – 64 Newsletter subscribers – 92 Twitter followers – 100 Facebook followers – 7 public letters sent to Council – 1 campaign 
Now that you know, what will you do?

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