10th Annual StreetTalk

The StreetTalk audience sit in pews; some stand up as others look at them smiling

Where Do We Go From Here: Livable Streets, Vibrant Communities, and the Future of Transportation

2020 wasn’t the year anyone expected. As we look toward 2021, many are asking “where do we go from here?”.

When LivableStreets was founded 15 years ago we set a bold vision for urban streets -- and it’s time to do that again. From expanding transit access, to transforming housing policy, we held a conversation with national leaders about what we need to do in the next 15 years in transportation to combat climate change, tackle systemic inequity, and make our streets work for everyone.

Keep reading to learn more about the speakers and to access a recording of the StreetTalk + links from the chat.

Featured Speakers


Ashwat Narayanan, Our Streets Minneapolis

Ashwat is the executive director of Our Streets Minneapolis, an organization dedicated to improving walking, biking and rolling infrastructure in the city. He is a nationally recognized expert on building more just, sustainable and resilient transportation infrastructure. He represents District 8 (much of Minneapolis) on Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory Board (TAB). He was appointed to Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Sustainable Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC). Ash has authored or co-authored numerous reports, including The Road to Clean Transportation: A Bold, Broad, Strategy to Cut Pollution and Reduce Carbon Emissions in the Midwest, and Arrive Together: Transportation Access and Equity in Wisconsin. He also authored the transportation section of St. Paul’s Climate Action Plan. Ash serves on the advisory board of Move Minneapolis, the steering committee of the Twin Cities Shared Use Mobility Center and on the Board of Directors of The Alliance for Metropolitan Stability.


Laura Raymond, The Alliance for Community Transit-Los Angeles

Laura Raymond is the Director of the Alliance for Community Transit - Los Angeles (ACT-LA), a coalition of 38 organizations. 

Laura led ACT-LA in co-anchoring Build Better LA, a community/labor partnership that drafted and passed Measure JJJ in November 2016 and defeated Measure S in March 2017. She sits on the steering committee of the Coalition for a Just LA, which succeeded in passing an affordable housing linkage fee in LA in December 2017. She led ACT-LA in helping draft and pass LA Metro's first ever Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) policy in June 2018. Currently, she is directing the coalition’s equitable planning program, its city, county and statewide policy work, and a transit justice organizing and advocacy effort.

Over the last 20 years, she has been active in a wide range of policy campaigns, civil and human rights projects and has built and coordinated numerous social justice coalitions. Immediately prior to ACT-LA, she spent 6 years managing advocacy campaigns with the Center for Constitutional Rights. She has a self-designed Masters degree in Policy Advocacy from the School for International Training and a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz.


Mayor Joseph Curtatone, City of Somerville

Joseph Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville, MA, has implemented a wide range of reforms and new programs that have earned the city many distinctions by regional and national organizations, including “the best-run city in Massachusetts” (The Boston Globe), one of the "100 Best Communities for Youth" in the nation (America's Promise Alliance), three "All-America City Awards" (the National Civic League), and the designation as one of the 15 most influential cities in the U.S (Boston University study). Curtatone earned his bachelor's from Boston College, a J.D. from New England School of Law, and a Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Currently serving a record 8th term, Curtatone is the longest-serving Mayor in the City’s history. Prior to his election to the office, he served as
one of Somerville’s four Councilors at Large.


Mary Skelton Roberts, Barr Foundation

Mary Skelton Roberts is Co-director of Barr’s Climate Change Program. In that role she is a thought leader, strategist, change maker, and climate defender, leveraging the Foundation’s resources to improve mobility for communities throughout Massachusetts and helping the region prepare for the impacts of climate change. Mary leverages a $18 million annual portfolio to put the best existing technology to work, elevate new ideas, and galvanize communities to make tangible improvements a reality. Mary also provides extensive thought leadership to partners, motivating them to think big and try ambitious ideas.

She is a leader in efforts to bring Gold Standard Bus Rapid Transit to the region, and the City of Boston’s Go Boston 2030 transportation planning process, which set a new standard for public engagement in city planning. In her climate preparedness work, she helped catalyze Climate Ready Boston, the City’s first comprehensive analysis of climate vulnerability and the first multi-neighborhood resilience plan in the United States. Mary’s work is united by her vision for a Greater Boston in which many transportation modes weave together seamlessly with affordable, transit-oriented development to form a low-carbon, resilient city that serves as a national model.

StreetTalk recording

Resources linked in the chat:

Freedom to Move Act announcement

Information about the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition

Green Line Extension Project

Transit is Essential Campaign

The Barr Foundation

A history of bike sharing in the US

Our Streets Minneapolis

Streetsblog Chicago article on bus lanes


Great Neighborhoods

City of Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan

Article about the LA Metro Public Safety Advisory Committee

Article about fare evasion

Emerald Network

Transit systems across the globe face a COVID reckoning

Transportation and climate change

Millions of Americans are heading into the holidays unemployed and over $5,000 behind on rent