Walking around cities for hours, enjoying urban plazas and parklets, and bicycling for everyday transportation are my favorite things to do. It’s mostly because they bring me a lot of joy!
I like that enjoying local neighborhoods on foot or bike is a great way to get built-in exercise and build community. I also like that it results in higher sales for local businesses, which keeps our districts thriving and local tax bases strong. Reduced driving also results in fewer accidents and deaths, fewer potholes, and healthier air quality.
This is why I do the work I do – helping business districts become more pedestrian- and bike-friendly and happy places to be – because it makes peoples lives better. I like to think of it as Gross Local Happiness.
April Economides specializes in business engagement throughout North America. She gives presentations, workshops, and consults on the economic benefits of walk- and bike-friendly business districts and helps get more customers, employees, and business owners on bikes. She engages business stakeholders in difficult conversations about planning and design projects, such as separated bike lanes, pedestrian plazas, and parklets.
Palm Springs Bicycle-Friendly Business District Education & Outreach, CA, 2012-Present
April is conducting a series of presentations and workshops for city staff, bicycle advocates, and business and tourism groups and will help create three bicycle-friendly business districts in the city.
Region of Ontario Bicycle-Friendly Business District Presentations, Workshops, and Plans, 2012-13
April conducted many speaking engagements and workshops in Ontario, Canada, to create a Bicycle-Friendly Business District Plan for Niagara, to help get Oakville’s program up and running, and to kick-start efforts in other cities.
San Diego Bicycle-Friendly Business District Plan, CA, 2012
April was hired by the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition to give a presentation to the San Diego Business Improvement District Council, which voted on the spot for her to create a comprehensive Bicycle-Friendly Business District Guidebook for 18 business districts. Implementation of the plan began in August 2012.
Long Beach Bicycle-Friendly Business District Pilot Program, CA, 2010-12
April developed the nation’s first bicycle-friendly business district program for the City of Long Beach in partnership with four business districts. The pilot program integrated bicycling into district events, marketing, and operations and attracted significant peer and media attention, inspiring other efforts around the continent.
City of Berkeley Sustainable City Research, 2009-10
April helped develop sustainability metrics for the Office of Sustainability's climate action plan; and helped lead team research projects on climate action outreach and education, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Figueroa Corridor Partnership Marketing and Communications, 2003-08
April managed marketing and communications for this Los Angeles BID, creating the marketing and media strategy, hosting a ULI event, producing the quarterly newsletter, redesigning and managing the website, and presenting annually to the board of directors. She landed media stories on the district's efforts toward becoming a mixed-use, multi-modal neighborhood, and secured significant coverage on transit-oriented developments, pedestrian-friendly urban design, and green roofs.
Urban Plan Consulting Group, 2003-08
April produced quarterly newsletters for a diversity of clients, researched and wrote From Open Spaces to Vital Places (a paper about successful park management), and wrote company business proposals and marketing pieces.