April 5, 2009

The Transportation and Livability Group (LiveMove)

A Multi-Disciplinary Student Group at the University of Oregon

The Transportation and Livability Group at the University of Oregon is a multi-disciplinary group whose aim is to promote more livable cities through alternative transportation. This is accomplished through design projects, research, and raising awareness of transportation issues on campus. Within the group, there are opportunities to collaborate on planning and design projects, to gain leadership skills, to bring in high-profile guest speakers, and to network. In addition, generous funding is available through a grant from the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) to support University of Oregon students to attend educational conferences, workshops or seminars. The interdisciplinary nature of the group is unique at the UO, and while open to all majors, is especially well suited for Planning Public Policy & Management, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Environmental Studies, and related majors, both undergraduate and graduate.

Over the course of the 2008-2009 school year LiveMove has helped organize a variety of events and learning opportunities which have focused on promoting more livable communities through alternative transportation. LiveMove kicked off the year by attending TransNow Conference; a student-led conference focusing on transportation research in Universities across the Pacific Northwest. LiceMove presented their group's mission and activities. Price Armstrong showcased his work with the University of Oregon’s Bicycle Loan Program and Tim Brass discussed his work on a mobile-GIS community-based, Accessibility Audit Tool (AAT).

LiveMove has also partnered with the Environmental Planners and Policy Makers (EPP) to kick-start the “Environmental Professor’s Speaker Series.” The monthly event intended to provide environmental professors with the opportunity to share their research with students and community members.

Other speakers that LiveMove has hosted throughout the year include author and bicycle enthusiast Billy Weir and Bill Wilkinson, former director of the National Center for Walking and Biking. LiveMove was able to host these speakers through partnerships with other student groups. Mr. Wilkinson was the keynote speaker invited to kick off the 15th annual HOPES conference - a environmentally focussed academic conference organized by the Ecological Design Center, another student group at the University of Oregon. It is through collaborations and a multi disciplinary approach to eduction that give LiveMove and the University of Oregon such great opportunities.

Through such partnerships LiveMove has also worked to bring back “Bicycle Appreciation Days”, where students provided free tune-ups and free food to bicyclists on Campus. The events have been an overwhelming success and has become a monthly function providing services and promoting sustainable transportation. While at the Bicycle Appreciation Days, LiveMove worked to collect student opinions on how the University could make the campus more bicycle friendly. Information gathered through this process was passed on to campus planning and was used to advocate for new bicycle parking, the redesign of University Street and for improved bicycle maintenance facilities.

This spring, a group of LiveMovers will be attending the National conference of the American Planning Association (APA) in Minneapolis. Attendees intend to learn about strategies being used for current transportation and land use planning projects across the country. Additionally, LiveMove is working on organizing its annual Bike Fair. The event will feature free bike tune-ups, bicycle demonstrations, community bicycle advocacy groups, entertainment and more. If you would like to learn more about the group or get involved, please visit the website LiveMove.

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