Neighborday Idea #1: Get Your Neighbors Walking

If we can get Los Angeles walking, so can you. #LetsNeighbor

April 25 marks the fifth anniversary of Neighborday, a global block party we invented to get people talking (and partying) with the people who live around them. Leading up to the big day, we’re sharing creative ways organizations in our native Los Angeles are connecting with the folks who share their walls and fences.

Stay tuned this week for more ideas about how to celebrate. #LetsNeighbor

A Los Angeles Walks Wayfinding Sign for Caminale. Sign design by Keith Scharwath.

Neighborday 2015 Idea #1:

A walkable neighborhood is a pleasant neighborhood. Encourage potential pedestrians in your community with signage that includes estimated walking times to popular locations.

Let’s be real—you can’t get the true sense of a neighborhood by whizzing past it at 35 miles per hour. To really get to know a place, you have to hoof it—smelling the baked goods as you pass the local pastry shop, getting close enough to touch a historic landmark, and talking with the everyday people who share your space.

Los Angeles Walks is out to prove that walking is easy, fun, and a lot faster than you think. Here’s what works for us, and how you can start to encourage more walking wherever you call home:

1. Talk to your neighbors. Say hello and find out where they walk or don't walk—and what’s stopping them.

2. Get out there on your feet yourself. Hunt down destinations people should experience up close, but may not be walking to already. Bring along a stopwatch. (If you’ve got a smartphone, it probably has one.)

3. Identify good locations for signs. Think existing sign poles, light poles, unused fences, or even spots on private property, such as businesses, churches, or homes.

4. Be sure you get buy in from community members, neighborhood councils, and city government before you post or alter any signs. Research local laws about where signs can be posted.

5. Create a map of sign locations and destinations. This doesn’t have to be fancy—it’s just to help you get started.

6. Design signs in collaboration with your neighbors that give walking times from sign locations to destinations.

7. Create and install signs in the spots you’ve marked out on your map. Walk Your City offers a simple sign builder to get you started.

8. Collect data about whether walking trips increase (through informal surveys or counts by local shop owners.)

Hey, if we can do it in notoriously unwalkable Los Angeles, you can, too. Before you know it, you’ll be walking right next to your neighbors, enjoying your surroundings together.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, we’re getting a head start on Neighborday this Saturday. Join us from 9:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. on April 18 in Central Jazz Park at Central Avenue and 42nd Place.

AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

Keep Reading Show less
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less

One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

Keep Reading Show less
via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

Keep Reading Show less