Open Streets programs, also known as Ciclovías, among other names, are mass recreational programs that encourage physical activity and community building by temporarily closing streets to cars and opening them to walking, cycling, and other forms of active transportation.

Streets become ‘paved parks’, presenting recreational opportunities to people regardless of their age, gender, ability, or background. Open Streets programs have the potential to foster civic pride and integration by bringing together people from all corners of the city. While the first South American ciclovías were launched in the 1960s, the past five years have seen a marked proliferation of Open Streets programs throughout North America.

We are thrilled to see these programs popping up across America! We hope that, through this website and other advocacy work, we will see more and more cities adopting the ‘Healthiest Practice’ model.

 

What are some of the benefits of Open Streets programs?
  • Open Streets participants have a higher prevalence of meeting physical activity recommendations than the overall population.
  • On average, Open Streets’ participants have higher health-related quality of life scores.
  • On average, Open Streets’ participants score higher on social capital scales.
  • Open Streets reduce particulate matter pollution and street noise.

 


Fact Sheets

With support from experts in Open Streets evaluation, we’ve gathered the existing data about Open Streets programs and put them into digestible themed fact sheets for you to use with various stakeholders. Please share them!

Open Streets and Physical Activity
Open Streets and Local Economies
Open Streets and Social Benefits


In fact, Open Streets programs hold such a strong potential for improving our culture of health in North American cities that national organizations, experts, advocates, and researches from around the U.S., with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, have begun to work together to promote these programs across America.

Watch this video to learn more about their experience at the Via RecreActiva in Guadalajara, Mexico  


The research related to Open Streets programs is continuing to grow. We will keep updating this site with new resources, articles and research that helps to build the case from Healthiest Practice Open Streets Programs, so be sure to check back regularly! 

Suggested Links & Resources:

OPEN STREETS PROJECT

PAHO FACTSHEET -- OPEN STREETS: A HEALTHY EPIDEMIC

VIDEO: PUBLIC HEALTH IMPACT OF CICLAVIA 

CAN STREETS MAKE US HEALHTY? OPEN STREETS CAN

ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF CICLAVIA 

VIDEO: CICLOVIA: BOGOTA COLUMBIA

VIDEO: IS SUNDAY STREETS GOOD OR BAD FOR LOCAL BUSINESS 

VIDEO: OPEN STREETS THUNDER BAY OPEN FOR BUSINESS