It was quite a day on Sunday, September 28, when a 1.5 mile stretch of Blue Hill Avenue was closed to traffic and opened to people–thousands of people! “There were a hundred ways to move,” noted attendee Bill Nigreen, a member of the Conservancy’s Stewardship Council, marveling at the breadth of activities. From bikes and tennis and Double Dutch to music, dance and drumming, the street was alive with people coming together to share in all the event had to offer.
Thank you to all who participated and made this event so inspiring and festive. We are grateful for the efforts of former Circle The City Coordinators Olawumi Akinwumi and Jessica Parsons for launching this initiative in Boston.
Activities: Circle The City creates a festival-like atmosphere featuring safe, car-free public space to walk, bike, roll and dance. Circle The City activities included live performances, outdoor fitness, dance and yoga classes, healthy food, bike clinics, children’s activities, roller skating, hula hooping, and countless other opportunities to have fun on the streets and in the parks.
Who benefits? Everyone! Circle The City offers free and fun space for physical activity and community gathering to all residents and visitors to Boston, and creates improved accessibility to parks and open space. Local businesses benefit from increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic along commercial corridors. The events provide a model of how cities can provide healthy, environmentally friendly outdoor activities for their residents while boosting the local economy.
Why Open Streets in Boston? Circle The City:
- Builds community and supports local business.
- Re-imagines the city street as a place for people.
- Promotes safe physical activity and healthy lifestyles for all.
- Gets people of all ages outside and connected to our parks.
- Furthers the City’s goals for a healthy, vibrant, livable Boston.
There are over 80 documented Open Streets projects in the U.S. alone that are sparking discussion around the role of streets and this way to engage new audiences in existing, but temporarily transformed, public space. Circle The City is not a parade, nor is it a race. Rather it is a unique opportunity to safely enjoy the streets and explore new neighborhoods and parks.
Circle The City 2014 Leadership
- Emerald Necklace Conservancy
- Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness
- LivableStreets Alliance
- Boston Cyclists Union
- Sustainability Guild International
- Nuestra Comunidad CDC
- Project R.I.G.H.T.
- City of Boston Bikes Program
2014 CTC Lead Sponsors
- City of Boston
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
- The Boston Globe
- The Bay State Banner