Green Octopus Consulting
* Working with Business Improvement Districts and community groups in LA and around the U.S. since 1999 on sustainable urban transport and placemaking, urban operations, events, marketing, and public outreach.
* Creating Bicycle-Friendly Business District programs across the U.S. and Canada, including: the first such program in Long Beach, CA, in four districts (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEYlfd-xGGs); the second program in San Diego, CA, in 18 districts (video: https://vimeo.com/60624768); inspiring the third program in New York, NY; creating the fourth effort in Oakville, ON; and starting the creation of many other efforts around the U.S. and Canada.
* Having our work featured in several bicycling, urban planning, and general media publications, and helping Long Beach garner significant media attention. Receiving awards for our Bicycle-Friendly Business District work and being asked to speak around the continent at 30 conferences/cities over the past year and a half.
* Producing free community rides and lasting media, such as this one in Long Beach’s Cambodia Town with the notable band Dengue Fever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeqc8exO1oo.
* Being the subject of Copenhagen’s Bicycle Manager, Andreas Rohl’s grant to study our work in Long Beach and San Diego in an effort to implement our ideas in Copenhagen.
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1 Submitted Idea
- 2013 Grants Challenge
Green Octopus Consulting will partner with local business associations, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), and LA Streetsblog to create five bicycle-friendly business districts in Los Angeles. A bicycle-friendly business district is where a community comes together around bicycles to bike to area shops and restaurants – and where merchants and employees ride, too. It’s the integration of bicycling into a business district’s operations, events, and promotions.
Bicycle-friendly business districts improve local economies by strengthening connections between residents and their local businesses, increasing small business revenues, and improving neighborhood vitality and connectedness, all the while improving public safety, environmental health, and GLH – Gross Local Happiness.
The ‘alienation’ that has historically defined the LA urban landscape – largely due to fast-moving cars that move through a place but don’t stop and connect with it – is starting to change. Bicycle-friendly neighborhoods are one of the strongest trends to emerge around the U.S. as a way to improve social connectedness in our communities. Getting people out of their cars and onto bikes as a mode of transport – particularly on the weekends for neighborhood shopping, dining and errands – is creating lasting, meaningful change for individuals, neighborhoods, and our local economies.
At the heart of this idea is to facilitate connections between business owners, local residents, and advocates. These stakeholders will work together to integrate bicycling into the neighborhoods’ existing events, online and print promotions, and business association operations. We’ll:
• Produce a bike map and destination guide for each district
• Host community rides through the districts
• Incorporate bicycling into each district’s events through bike valets, free basic bike repair, bike portraits, and more
• Outfit the districts with bikes for errands and deliveries
• Produce two LA Streetsblog videos introducing people to the program and shopping by bike
• Create a snazzy program website with everything you'd want to know about the program
• Establish lasting relationships between business districts and their local bike shops and the LACBC
Through interactive workshops, each district will decide what else they’d like to incorporate into their neighborhood. Business districts will benefit from free publicity as their efforts are recognized in the bicycling community and general media.
Bicycling goes hand-in-hand with placemaking – creating a ‘sense of place’ for a neighborhood. Increased bicycling in a business district results in more women and children coming to that area, increased small business sales helps retain the diversity of our locally-owned businesses and each area’s unique character, and the increased vitality makes an area more welcoming to people all-around. The result is a socially connected community anchored by vibrant local business districts that are safe and pleasant for residents to bike and walk to.