The Sun Comes Out for Walkability…

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So after a few days of rain, cold, and wet weather, the sun and perfect summer weather came out just in time for the end of our program.  It was also right in time for our “Walkability” Tool Presentations. As you know we were asked/challenged to develop a tool to measure the “Walkability” in the Streets of Riva.

After going out yesterday to the streets of rainy Riva, the results were in, the powerpoints were complete, and it was time to look over our tool and results. Between all groups the results were different, but the main idea was the same… Riva as a small town is already pretty walkable.  But the streets in Riva could do better and make some improvements. The streets in Riva have no problem in its context as a calm town, but for its streets to be considered as completely “walkable”, many things would have to be implemented. Focusing on three main areas of safety, infrastructure, and sense of place, the suggestions ranged from the need for more sidewalks to the need for more signs and speed limits. We also identified the strengths of the area such as the low traffic in Riva streets as well as the good enclosure and sense of place that you sense from walking in the area.

After the presentations and lecture, we all decided to skip dinner at the Villa for the day and go on to explore some restaurants in the area. Some people went to Lugano, some went to Como, and some went to have some local Pizza that they took to Lake Lugano. So overall a pretty calm day when compared to all the travelling we’ve done and all the hustle-and-bustle we’ve been through in bigger cities, but it was a refreshing way to really enjoy the area we’re in.

Sadly, after trips to Bern, Zurich, and Freiburg and lectures and presentations all over Switzerland, the Sustainable Europe Program is coming to an end. It’s only been a little over three weeks, yet it feels like months.  It feels like we’ve invested so much time listening and meeting different people who are in charge of creating and implementing sustainable methods all over Switzerland. It definitely has been a great learning experience. Switzerland may be a small country, but it has so much to offer that even with having visited so many towns and cities, there is still reason to come back for more.

The weather outside is still awesome. So gotta go and have some Gelato at the Lake. Out.

Alejando Garrido Perez | University of Virginia | Class of 2012 | Architecture + Urban & Environmental Planning

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