Why Trails are America's New Town Squares
7/30/2014 11:25:00 AM
Americans are people on the go! The urge to move is part of our national character since the beginning of the Republic and greatly influences how we spend our leisure time.
In the 19th Century, Sunday drives in carriages (and later cars) became a favorite pastime. Urban planners responded by laying out lovely green ribbons of parkways—which remain beloved places to this day in many communities.
But for harried 21st Century commuters, who spend long hours in cars or buses each week, driving seems too reminiscent of work. On evenings and weekends they want to take off on bikes, skates, longboards or their own two feet. That’s why communities are now busy creating new trails and greenways across America and throughout the world.
Trails are becoming the new town square where people bump into their neighbors, sparking conversations and friendships. When speaking to audiences around the country, I often begin by asking people to name a favorite commons in their lives. More often than not, one of the first few mentioned is a local rail-trail or parkway.
Read more: http://www.utne.com/community/why-trails-are-americas-new-town-squares.aspx#ixzz3AIMGf812