Get Schooled in Livable Streets

livable_streets_ed.jpgStudents at PS 87 record car speeds.

Last September, The Open Planning Project officially launched Livable Streets Education (LSE), to inspire students, teachers, and families to make the changes they want to see on their streets and in their neighborhoods. LSE’s learning units explore a range of topics, including the urban
environment, traffic calming, biking and walking, public transit, and safe
routes to schools. Our pilot program is already up and running in four schools. The response has been very positive — young people are incredibly interested in improving the environment and their city. This spring we’ll be expanding to ten New York City schools, working with over 500 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Kim_SpeedGun.jpgLSE director Kim Wiley-Schwartz shows a pupil how to track car speeds.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that our website is up and running. Come visit to learn more about our residency programs. For these in-school sessions, we go out with students and take a look around their school, then come up with ways to improve it for pedestrians, cyclists, commuters, and most importantly, kids. We connect these ideas to math, science, social studies, literacy, and art, providing a rich learning experience.

If you’re interested in bringing Livable Streets Education to your child’s school (or the school in which you work), we’re currently available for fall 2009 residencies. The program is entirely funded at no cost to schools. We also partner with cultural institutions for special educational programming. Look for us at the New York Transit Museum, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and Celebrate Brooklyn.

To stay connected with educators and parents interested in Livable Streets Education, join our group on the Livable Streets Community site.

If you live outside New York City, not to worry. We’re currently working with teachers to develop lesson plans that can be taught in classrooms across the country. Keep an eye on our website for the first three learning units, coming soon.

  • Chris

    This is a brilliant idea. I’m always on the lookout for ways to teach kids about planning!

  • Thank you, Chris! Join our community group through the link provided and watch for the curriculum on line soon. LSE is available for residencies as well so don’t hesitate to hook us up with a school community to work with.

  • caleb prichard

    Sounds good. I teach English at a university in Japan and try to incorporate New Urbanism in my classes. I look forward to seeing the curriculum you put together.

  • this is great to see. i’m thrilled to have kids thinking critically about the health and vibrancy of their neighborhoods as tied to livable streets!

    and sadly, the sight of children with radar guns and speed detection signs may be one of the few effective techniques of shaming drivers into reasonable speeds.

    i also see a lot of crossover with the media literacy education work we do at The Media Spot, and hope to be in touch with you about that.

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