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Molly GardnerMolly Gardner of Arts Council Long Beach at the parklet at Lola’s restaurant in Long Beach, CA, home to this year's Pro Walk/ Pro Bike conference and National Women's Bicycling Summit.
The crucial role of engaging and empowering women as the “indicator species” in creating healthier and more economically vibrant communities is a key focus of this year’s Pro Walk/ Pro Bike: Pro Place 2012 Conference and sister events the first national Women’s Bicycling Summit and Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future urban bike fashion show held at the Long Beach Convention Center this September 10-13, 2012.
Registration is still open and all of the details can be found at: pps.org/pwpb2012. With the coupon code “WSummit” attendees can register for the conference and attend the summit and fashion show for free!
With rising gas prices, increased traffic congestion and the dire warnings about the cost and harmful impact of sedentary diseases, biking and walking can be tools for urban optimism – yet as of 2009, according to the 2012 Benchmarking report from the Alliance for Biking and Walking, women accounted for just 24 percent of all U.S. bike trips. Further the report shares that from 1966 to 2009 the percentage of children who biked or walked to school fell 75% during that time the percentage of obese children rose 276%.
At the Pro Walk/ Pro Bike: Pro Place 2012 women will make up 50% of conference presentations.
Attended by bike, walking and placemaking advocates and professionals, elected officials, transportation planners and engineers, and public health professionals looking to learn from the best in their respective fields, the conference will also have two female keynote speakers. Long Beach Councilmember Dr. Suja Lowenthal, an urban planner and bike/walking advocate who inspired the 2012 TED prize City 2.0 and who has played an important role in Long Beach’s move to bike-friendliness, and Sharon Roerty, a enior Program Officer at the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and former Executive Director for the National Center for Bicycling and Walking. Author and popular “Bicycle Anthropologist” Mikael Colville-Andersen who coined the term “Cycle Chic” in 2006 from his copenhagenize.com blog and launched the mostly female world-wide Cycle Chic blog movement will also be a keynote presenter and special guest of the fashion show.
The first National Women’s Bicycling Summit will be held on the last day of the conference from 2:00 to 6:30pm and will be followed by the “Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future” urban and bike fashion show from 6:30 to 9:30. Leah Missbach-Day, co-founder of World Bicycle Relief will be the summit’s keynote.
Tickets are still available for both the National Women’s Bicycling Summit and Cycle Chic show for just $35.00. All details can be found here: bikeleague.org/conferences/women.
Pro Walk/ Pro Bike: Pro Place 2012 would also like to highlight the following women of note who will be presenting at the conference:
- Laura Cohen, Director, Western Region, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Cohen co-founded the Caltrans Active Transportation and Livable Communities Advisory Group. Previously she served as Senior Counsel for MGM/UA Studios and as senior environmental policy staff for a State Senator.
- Elise Bremer-Nei, AICP/PP Supervising Planner with the New Jersey Department of Transportation's Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs. Elise has been the New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator for the past seven years.
- Ginny Sullivan, Special Projects Direct for Adventure Cycling Association coordinates the U.S. Bicycle Route System, a proposed national network of numbered bicycle routes that connect urban, suburban & rural communities in partnership with AASHTO and works directly with DOTs and stakeholders.
- Jessica Roberts, Alta Planning + Design's Programs Team Manager has led education, encouragement and media campaigns, as well as bike/ped plans and projects around the US.
- Jessica Meaney, Southern California Policy Director Safe Routes to School Partnership working on transportation policy priorities specifically regarding transportation finance, equity, communitybased schools, data collection and evaluation.