Complete Streets: Maximizing Local Living Economies

Instead of designing roads with the sole intention of getting a vehicle from place A to place B, why not consider each road as part of a larger system – a system that impacts our safety, economic development, quality of life, the environment and public health? (AKA: Our Local Living Economy.)  A Complete Streets Policy can help communities consider all the impacts roads have on our lives and promote the design and maintenance of roads to maximize benefits.

Who wants a Complete Streets Policy in Keene?  We do!  A Complete Streets Policy was identified as a priority in the 2010 Keene Comprehensive Master Plan: “Members of the community expressed a desire, as part of creating Keene’s walkable community, to strive for ‘complete streets.’ Keene should make it a consistent policy to design streets with all users in mind, including drivers, public transport riders, pedestrians, and bicyclists as well as older people, children, and those with disabilities.”

Who will make a Complete Streets Policy happen in Keene? We will! The Keene Young Professionals Network is organizing a community service project to support the adoption of a Complete Streets Policy in Keene.  Get involved by contacting jen@hannahgrimes.com.

Have questions and concerns about a Complete Streets Policy? Review some frequently asked questions at http://www.completestreets.org.  Find out more about Complete Streets at the Monadnock Earth Festival on April 23, 11 a.m. – 4p.m. and at the Council for a Healthier Community Vision 2020 How and Why to Have Complete Streets Event with built environment expert and consultant, Mark Fenton May 4, 2011 from 7:30 am – 10 am.

Systems Thinking Quotes

“Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static snapshots.

Fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness are not problems to be solved–they are frozen patterns of thought to be dissolved.”

– Peter Senge

How is Systems Thinking being discussed at a community-wide level?

How Are We Contributing to Our Local Living Economy?

While exploring the idea of a “local living economy” in the Monadnock Region, the Hannah Grimes Center compiled a collage of logos from local organizations, businesses, and community groups who are already contributing to our local economy and community in diverse and important ways.

Contributions such as:

  • Encouraging charitable giving
  • Paying staff to volunteer for local agencies
  • Purchasing local products, when possible
  • Giving incentives for walking or biking to school or work
  • Offering support to local businesses
  • Supporting farmers and a healthy regional food system
  • Encouraging citizen participation
  • Growing a community garden
  • Marketing local events and products
  • Developing community-wide health education initiatives
  • Supporting smart growth policies
  • Contributing to our community’s guiding documents (master plan, land use regulations)
  • Setting policies and guidelines to support our local economy
  • Promoting conservation of our natural resources
  • Providing jobs and contributing dollars to the local economy through a locally-owned business
  • Bringing people together to network and solve local problems

Is your business, organization or community group missing from the collage below? Please send an electronic version your logo (JPG) to jen@hannahgrimes.com.

Also, feel free to pass this on to others you know who are helping to build the Monadnock Region’s local economy and community.