As well as looking at local growing, energy use and food, the ever clever people from Hanover Action for Sustainability (HASL) have been at work putting together a new initiative looking at sustainable transport and our streets.
Early thoughts have inevitably circled around car use – in two ways mostly: the impact of vehicle emissions on air quality/pollution and on carbon reduction/climate change, and the impact on our streets and quality of life from parked and moving cars, including; restrictions on children’s play, obstruction and noise and using up space which could have other community functions.
In September, the group will hold its first public event – ‘Streets are for Sharing’. This will include the closure (or opening up – depending on your POV) of Grove Street, and a host of activities and events going on in the Han0ver Centre. The Grove Street activities will be mostly on a play street theme with an emphasis on children playing, street art and neighbourliness, and is (at least in part) inspired by the Bristol ‘Playing Out’ initiative, which sees regular temporary closure of streets to motor traffic and turning them into meanwhile playgrounds. The Hanover Centre events will be about information and will feature a ‘Human Library’ discussion and short films.
More than just a Car Park?
Many people in Hanover agree that our streets could be more than a dormitory for cars. The success of our alfresco events; Hanover Day, Zocalo, street parties… back this up, and there is also no shortage of ideas on how things could be improved. More street planting, better seating, bike parking, street art, peace and quiet, better lighting, cleaner pavements, street events, spaces for children….
One of the central aims of the ‘Streets are for Sharing’ day is to explore some of these ideas a bit more and see what the appetite is locally for taking any of them forward, turning them into fundraising targets, campaigns and such.
For more information about the day or the group, have a look at their facebook page. Oh – and if you are coming, don’t forget your tree!