Hacienda residents use photography for bike advocacy

In 2010, through our Communities in Motion grant, the Community Cycling Center helped create and support Bike Committees at two of our community partners . Each of the Bike Committees meets monthly to discuss and plan ways to increase bicycling in their communities. Since October 2010, the Bike Committee at Hacienda, which is comprised of residents and Hacienda staff, have been working on a photography project, using a PhotoVoice methodology, to document aspects of their community that promote or inhibit physical activity, including bicycling.

PhotoVoice is a community advocacy tool that puts cameras in the hands of people to take pictures and document neighborhood concerns and issues in their community. The creator of PhotoVoice, Caroline Wang, describes that “PhotoVoice is a method that enables people to define for themselves and others, including policy makers, what is worth remembering and what needs to be changed.”

The project is part of a bigger Healthy Kids Healthy Communities project funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reshape their environments to support healthy living and prevent childhood obesity. The focus of this project, which is led by Oregon’s Public Health Institute, is to evaluate how amenities at multi-family affordable housing sites contribute to physical activity and healthy eating and seek policy changes that improve environmental conditions for families.

In December 2010, the Bike Committee captured a total of 164 images from their community and are now working to create captions for photos to be used in a final display. The committee is still discussing what the final product will look like. Ultimately, the photos will be used to communicate with decision makers to advocate for improved amenities at family sites. Be sure to check back in March for an update about the project.

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