Build a Strong Team

Bringing together the right people is a critical step in the process of creating a successful Open Streets program. Open Streets programs are often born around a lunch table or in the twitter-sphere. Likeminded people come together to create a program they all understand and believe in. While chances are these people will make up the majority or your team, you need to think strategically about the roles you need to fill, and who should fill them. You many need to look for people with specific skills, political connections, or networks that will help you develop the strongest possible program.  

While the composition of teams may vary from city to city, the basic structure or key tasks of Open Streets team can be seen below. During the early months or years of your program it is not uncommon for people to wear multiple hats—e.g. the Marketing and Communications lead may also the Financial Management lead—the important thing is to identify key roles and responsibilities.

 

Managing Director

Roles and Responsibilities:

Oversee overall program management and operations of the areas of responsibility listed below.

Community and Political Outreach

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Schedule and liaise with key community groups and mid-level stakeholders ie. BIA’s, Resident Associations and Neighbourhood Associations
  • Ensure relevant Councillor Offices are kept informed
 
Activity Hubs of Complementary Programming

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Create a master plan for Activity Hubs of Complementary Programming
  • Create process for soliciting and choosing programming for hubs
  • Recruit and train a complement of resources to assist with hub execution
  • Oversee the implementation of programming within the hubs
 
Volunteer Services

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Define the overall volunteer strategy
  • Research different methods for recruiting volunteers 
  • Create a strategy that trains, manages and communicates with volunteers
  • Oversee each program date's volunteer function
 
Communications and Marketing

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Create a communication strategy​, which includes key messages, media relations, social media and website management 
  • Manage the creation, production, and distribution of markting materials
  • Liaise with media

 

Operations and Permitting Management

Roles and Responsibilities:

 
Evaluation

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Design and implement evaluation strategy

 

Finance

Roles and Responsibilities:

 

Sponsorship and Funding

Roles and Responsibilities:

 

 
 

 

Once you have assembled your team, you need to define your mission, values, goals and long-term 'pie in the sky' vision. To get started, you can look at the Healthiest Practice Open Streets program's four key components, which together provide the greatest impact on your city.

Next, you need to dig into the details:
Pitch Your Idea and Build Support for your Program 
Plan Your Route 
Tips for Finding Funding

 

You always need to have a dream that is bigger than you—that will not be realised in your lifetime

Thomas Lopez, Co-Founder of Guadalajara’s ViaRecreActiva.