In my mind, one of the most fundamental reasons living active is so important is because that’s what helps build a strong and socially connected community. When neighbours can walk, bike or transit to the grocery store, local park, work, coffee shop, school, pub or movie theatre it provides an unplanned opportunity to run into someone you know - or don’t yet know. It’s an excuse to say “hello” and touch base with others in your community, to stay connected and build relationships.
These small and somewhat accidental acts of connection help do great things to generate further connection to one another. Things like offers to help with carpooling kids to the next soccer game, a dinner invitation, or an ear when someone is having a tough time become spontaneous and easy. The chance run-in might even end up planting the seeds for a great neighbourhood revitalization project - like a new park, club, street clean up or mural. And you want to know what the bonus is in all of this? More eyes on the street also helps combat local crime because neighbours can more easily spot activity that looks out of place. That’s a lot of goodness out of the simple act of living actively, by being able to walk, bike or transit from A to B.
Creating walkable, bikeable, liveable neighbourhoods where Edmontonians can live active by simply getting from place to place is incredibly valuable. It is my aspiration that Edmonton continues to move forward on making the changes required so the choice to walk, bike or take transit becomes as easy as getting into our cars - no matter which neighbourhood we call home.