Bike and Pedestrian Champion Named 2011 Urban Hero

Sep 14 2011

New Orleans, LA - Jennifer Ruley will be recognized as The Urban Conservancy’s 2011 Urban Hero at the organization’s annual You Are Here fundraiser on Saturday, October 22, for her work to make New Orleans streets safer and more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians.

A Pedestrian and Bicycle Engineer with the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), Ruley provides technical assistance to the City of New Orleans to develop facilities for walking and bicycling. Since beginning work in 2004 under a Center for Disease Control and Prevention “Steps to a Healthier U.S.” grant and subsequently through grants from Entergy, Ruley has provided technical support and guidance to improve the City’s capacity to expand facilities such as bike lanes and walking paths to more neighborhoods. Jennifer is currently working to develop “complete streets” policy recommendations and to initiate new opportunities for physical activity such as ciclovia in New Orleans.

“Jennifer’s ability to affect positive change completely aligns with our mission to promote the wise stewardship of the urban built environment,” says Dana Eness, Executive Director of The Urban Conservancy. “Her unswerving commitment to people-friendly New Orleans streets has made this a greener, safer, and more connected city for all of us.”

In addition to recognizing Ruley, the Urban Conservancy will celebrate it’s 10th anniversary by honoring co-founders Geoff Coats and Edward Melendez. Entertainment will include The Mystic Pony Aerial Troupe, and music by Ingrid Lucia and Spillway. Pedicab service provided by Bike Taxi Unlimited, portraits by G. Chapin Studios, and La Divina’s gelato cart are also part of the festivities. Food, drinks and live and silent auction items donated by local businesses will shine the spotlight on New Orleans’ diverse local business community.

“We are featuring the very special aspects of New Orleans’ urban fabric—its local culture and economy, its low-impact transit options, and its distinct historic buildings and walkable neighborhoods— while showcasing our organization’s work over the past decade to foster them,” says Eness.

What: “You Are Here,” The Urban Conservancy’s Annual Fundraiser

When: Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 6 - 9:00 p.m.

Where: The Icehouse, 2803 St. Philip St., New Orleans, LA 70119

Proceeds from the event support The Urban Conservancy’s projects including the local business directory on, neighborhood guides, the Lafitte Greenway kiosk project, and economic impact research on industries and communities affected by the BP oil disaster along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast.

LCI Workers’ Comp is a major sponsor. Other sponsors include Woodward Design + Build, Abita Brewing Company, Bike Taxis Unlimited, Civic Economics, Etkind Design Studio, La Divina Gelateria, Lakeside Camera Photoworks, MPress, Pal’s Lounge, Plan B, Trumpet Group, and dozens of food and auction donors.

For event information, contact Keely Hill at 504-561-7474 or Tickets may be purchased online at or at the door.


The Urban Conservancy is a New Orleans-based nonprofit dedicated to research, education, and advocacy promoting the wise stewardship of the urban built environment and local economies. For more information about the organization and its initiatives, visit our websites at and

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