Trugs in production from Emerging Terrain and partners.

Omahans are starting to get the hang of this density thing. Two projects, each led by different groups, signal the beginning of this shift in thinking – Omaha B-cycle and Trug: Leavenworth.

Last week, Omaha by Design presented its 2012 Civic Leaf to the two groups responsible for introducing Omaha B-cycle to the community – Live Well Omaha and the Community Bike Project Omaha. The city’s first large-scale municipal bike-sharing system has become part of the midtown area’s civic fabric.

Five stations connect Aksarben Village, one of Omaha’s new mixed use developments, with the University of Nebraska at Omaha, its neighbor to the north. During its first seven months of operation, 426 members took a total of 1,437 trips while burning 288,228 calories and resulting in a 6,845 lb. carbon offset. The two groups intend to add 100 additional bikes and 20 stations to Omaha’s system within the next year.

On May 24 from 4:00 to 6:00pm, the Greater Omaha Chamber, Emerging Terrain, the City of Omaha and stakeholders from the Park East and Columbus Park neighborhoods will host a kickoff party for Trug: Leavenworth. The seasonal project, which is bringing uniquely designed planters and seating units to Leavenworth Street, is designed to calm traffic and create lively, welcoming spaces for local businesses and residents.

Throughout the summer, businesses and community organizations will be teaming up to provide weekly activities in and around the trugs. A trug, if you’re wondering, is defined as a shallow, usually oval gardening basket made with wide strips of wood.

Try them both in the coming months, and take a few moments to examine the effect they’re having on the local neighborhood.

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