For those of you not sure what these new fangled events are all about, Street Talks has been set up by a group of people who "keep a keen eye on transport and the built environment (with a fairly heavy emphasis on walking, cycling and liveability) and aims to provide a forum for people to come together, hear an expert speaker, have a bit of a debate, meet like-minded thinkers and industry professionals and to share a beer or two. A drink tank, if you'll excuse the pun, or a 'literary salon' for liveability buffs." (See my earlier post, Introducing Street Talks)
The first talk was a resounding success; Tom Barry from BorisWatch gave a potted history of London transport policy and a great, friendly crowd turned out. Sadly, our recording of the evening didn't come out, but Tom's presentation is available on the Liveable London website, and this very humorous video from Unfinished London on YouTube gives you an idea of what we covered and what London would look like today if Patrick Abercrombie and his mad, bad modernist traffic engineers had got their way;
The second Street Talk focuses on cycling and takes place next week Tuesday on the 12th of April. Jim Davis, the founder of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain and pre-eminent blogger (do check out the Lo Fidelity Bicycle Club if you have a chance) will be giving a presentation entitled "I want what they’re having – how the rest of the world is achieving a real cycling revolution." Jim knows his cycling infrastructure onions and is a warm and funny speaker. Furthermore, his organisation's stance of putting infrastructure first, where appropriate, is quite a departure on the UK cycle advocacy scene, so his talk will be sure to raise lots of healthy debate and challenge advocacy preconceptions. For anyone with an interest in how our streets are designed to accommodate us cyclists (or not, as the case might be) this will be a must-attend event.
Jim Davis of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain.
Photo credit: Cycling in London blog.
For those unfamiliar with the new Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, the Liveable London website has this to say about them; "The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain acts as a conduit for best practice from around the World and aims to get standards, as opposed to guidelines, implemented to create cycle infrastructure that we can all be proud of and that people will actually want to use – as opposed to the largely circuitous, dangerous and unfit for purpose rubbish we currently have to put up with. They promote the bicycle as a mode of transport and are hoping to reach the approximately 97% of people that don’t ride a bicycle regularly as opposed to the 3% who do." Did I also mention that Jim is a stand up comedian by night?!
Liveable London, the people behind Street Talks, are on Twitter @LiveableLondon, and the next talk takes place at 7PM on Tuesday April 12th at The Yorkshire Grey pub on Theobalds Road. The comfortable upstairs bar is reserved for us on the evening and is open from 6PM for great food, good beers and a spot of networking if it takes your fancy.
Spread the word, bring your pals, and hope to see some of you there!