"Bikesplorations" is a free cycling-based summer program that will introduce Lower East Side, NYC students grades 10-12 to urban planning and design.
WHAT & WHERE?
"Bikesplorations" is a free cycling-based summer program that will introduce 10-15 high school students, grades 10-12, from Manhattan's diverse, underserved Lower East Side community to urban planning and design. The program will start and end each session in the neighborhood's East River Park. The curriculum has been crafted to allow students to safely explore their community by bicycle and will encourage and empower them to become active voices in the conversations that shape the places we live, work, and play.
HOW & WHEN?
We (Velo City - a new nonprofit initiative) have partnered with our fiscal sponsor, Recycle-A-Bicycle (RAB), a well established 501 (c) (3), to facilitate the unique program. Each Saturday for 7 consecutive weeks, beginning Saturday, July 10, 2010, our participants will discuss issues of public space and explore them on NY400 Orange Batavus bicycles, generously donated by the Dutch government. "Bikesplorations" will culminate with a public exhibition and a bike tour designed and led by the students.
Participants will learn how public spaces, including parks and streets, are key elements to the success of a community. Additionally, students will explore the past, present, and consider the future of varying public spaces through bike rides, visits to cultural institutions, and mapping exercises. Instructors will encourage students to become engaged citizens and to advocate for changes they would like to see take place within their own community.
Each Saturday session will consist of the following:
- 10:00 - 11:15 AM: Daily "Public Space" discussion (i.e. Parks, Complete Streets, Waterfront, etc.)
- 11:15 - 12:30 PM: Lunch - Especially designed healthy "cyclist" lunches will be provided for free
- 12:30 - 3:00 PM: Bike tour corresponding to daily topic
WHO & WHY?
Velo City is a non profit initiative that was started last fall by three friends who work in the urban planning and design fields and who enjoy the many benefits of cycling in New York City. As women of color we recognize a need for greater diversity in both of these circles of our lives, so we launched an initiative to do just that, raise awareness and diversity in the planning and design professions as well as in the cycling community.
Velo City's mission is to introduce youth from diverse, underserved communities to urban planning and design concepts, community involvement opportunities, and career options in urban planning and design, architecture, and landscape architecture through the medium of cycling.
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