Open Streets Corvallis (see https://openstreetscorvallis.org) is a community initiative that culminates in an annual event implemented by a collaborative of agencies and non-profit organizations from Corvallis under the leadership of the Corvallis Bicycle Collective. The central goals of the initiative are to promote alternative transportation and build understanding and support for potential bicycle/pedestrian projects in the Corvallis Transportation System Plan. It does this by closing a set of streets to motorized traffic (approximately a mile) one Sunday a year in August, and opening those streets for walking, biking, and the use of any kind of non-motorized transportation. Additionally, it invites the residents of those streets to express themselves in multiple ways, including art, music, food, and recreational activities in general. As a result, since its inception in the summer of 2017, Open Streets Corvallis has transcended its original alternative transportation purpose and has become a showcase for the expression of culture, strengthening of support networks, and community building.
Open Streets Corvallis provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about ethnographic methods in an applied setting and in relation to a subject matter of central importance in a time of public concern for sustainability and climate change. Having an ethnographic field school with Open Streets Corvallis would also serve to establish partnerships with local community agencies and organizations that can provide our students future opportunities for volunteering, internships, theses/dissertations, and employment.