It’s been two months and three sessions (plus one happy hour) since we launched our new leadership program, Project Shift: West Denver. We recruited 14 enthusiastic participants from several Westside neighborhoods who want to help make their communities more people-centric and less car-dependent.
Personal Behavior + Multimodal Fluency + Built Environment Knowledge = Car-Lite Lifestyle Champion
The ultimate goal of the program is to create neighborhood champions: locals who live or work in the area that show others what is possible through actions. By the end of Project Shift, participants will be the go-to experts in their communities on getting around without a personal vehicle, what effect the built environment and local policy has on Denver’s multimodal options, and how to advocate for increasing those options in their own neighborhoods and around the city.
During the first three sessions, participants had the opportunity to examine their current travel behaviors, hear from the City’s pedestrian planner about what makes a community multimodal (or not), and develop their multimodal skills through resources or generous perks from partners such as B-Cycle, eGo carshare, Car2Go, RTD, and DRCOG’s Way to Go program.
Creating the Vision and Telling the Story
Now that the foundations have been laid, it’s time to start building on them. We have been encouraging our participants to share their passion for safe, multimodal communities with their families, friends, peers, and social media networks. Every session, we have seen their enthusiasm to learn more and for the next few sessions, they will have the opportunity to do more. Working in teams with their neighbors, they will develop a vision for what a more multimodal West Denver could look like and then design a small neighborhood project that will contribute to the walkability of their chosen location.
You’ll be able to hear from the participants themselves as we launch the official Project Shift blog within the coming weeks. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the Project Shift website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more updates on the current cohort and how you can apply to join the next edition of Project Shift that will be starting this June! You can also email our program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.