corrida amiga: run commuters

corrida amiga: run commuters

Corridaamiga is a voluntary initiative that emerged in early 2014, as a result of the idea of “Brazilian run commuters” that aims to assist and inspire individuals to use running for urban mobility.

Silvia Stuchi Cruz, São Paulo, Brazil

Worldwide notices a tendency to use the running and walking as a means of transport, in view of the travel time, risks and health effects caused by the use of individual transport or motorized collective in large cities. The change in the mean of transportation to work may contribute to reduce risk related to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic diseases.
The active transport concept consists of human-powered forms of travel such as walking, running, cycling, skating, and others. The urban design deeper impact people´s lifestyles and public health, and experts worldwide are beginning to discuss and recognize the role of “active transport” as an alternative to the sedentary lifestyle and as a way to improve the quality of life of the population. Besides, increasing the active transport improves physical fitness, and provides co-benefits when it reduces the traffic Jam and pollution.
Corridaamiga - or “running friends” - is a voluntary initiative that emerged in early 2014, as a result of the idea of “Brazilian run commuters” that aims to assist and inspire individuals to use running for urban mobility. Through Corridaamiga initiative (run as a form of urban mobility) we wish more people would discover other transportation alternatives, showing them that it is possible to change their lives. We do not need to suffer: stuck in the traffic; lack of time to exercise; or lack of time to be with our friends and family. Since we started the network, we have had 75 volunteer runners (run commuters) spread in different Brazilian cities, and around 80 people that requested Corridaamiga to help in their first routes, showing the best ways and sharing instructions and information about how to run in the streets.
Although Corridaamiga aims to have volunteers registered all over Brazil, it is based in São Paulo. São Paulo is known for its intense traffic, the incredible use of automobiles (people even use it for going to the bakery and we have bakeries in every corner of the city), and overcrowded, expensive, and inefficient public transportation. Because of this, different initiatives of different natures have come along over the last decade, aiming to be innovative solutions. Mobility is not the only focus – it is also about designing cities for people.
There are days in São Paulo where the traffic jams exceed 300 kilometers. Also, 4,000 people die annually due to problems caused by air pollution. The city already has more than 7 million vehicles circulating and Brazilians’ weight has been increasing in the last years.
Finnaly, under this context, it is fundamental to spread the run commuting, and that more and more runners are willing to use the it as urban mobility. Thus, the perspective of run commuting aims to dialogue about opportunities for transforming cities in order to encourage a more active and healthier lifestyle, identifying first results as well as challenges and opportunities.

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