West Palm Beach Mayor And Downtown Leader Awarded Grant To Study Walkability

Aug 20, 2015, 08:08 ET from West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Aug. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio and the city's Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Executive Director, Raphael Clemente, have been selected by the Knight Foundation to visit Copenhagen, Denmark to study some of the world's best urban environments and how Europeans successfully navigate their lives without daily use of a car. Upon return, they will bring those insights and ideas back to West Palm Beach.

"There are a lot of valuable place-making lessons to be learned from Europe's finest cities, and Copenhagen's mass transit and use of bicycles is exemplary worldwide," said Mayor Muoio. "We have taken so many good steps already in our city to encourage people to get out of their cars. But we are just beginning on the path that Copenhagen has led the way."

The two will travel to Copenhagen Sept. 20-24 to learn from city planners about how Copenhagen transformed its transportation system to make walking, biking and public transit the three most popular ways people get around.

"Copenhagen is the best example in the world of how to design a city for people, instead of fitting people into a city structure," said West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Raphael Clemente.

They will also have the opportunity to tour the nearby city of Malmo in Sweden to learn how it transformed from a declining industrial and manufacturing base into a hub of high technology companies.

After the workshops, officials from Gehl Architects, principal designers of Copenhagen's transformation, will travel to West Palm Beach to help implement some of the strategies used in Copenhagen to make the area more walkable and bicycle friendly.

The Knight Foundation, which was founded to support innovative civic ideas in 26 communities including Palm Beach County, said that it selected West Palm Beach to participate in the Copenhagen training because of the city's and DDA's "ambition" and commitment to what they want to create downtown.

About the Downtown Development Authority
The West Palm Beach DDA is an independent taxing district created in 1967 by a special of the Florida Legislature.
For more information about the DDA or Downtown West Palm Beach, please visit downtownwpb.com or call the DDA at (561) 833-8873.

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SOURCE West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority