"Sidewalks have long been the indicator of whether a neighborhood has the attention of City Hall planners and politicians. Lack of sidewalks can also provide a rallying point for disaffection. A new study of the relationship between sidewalks and climate change released by the Washington State Department of Transportation may provide some new backing for the concrete crusade being led by some neighborhoods. But the city needs to be careful to consider other factors like the impacts on water quality."
The report downplays the role of sidewalks in reducing vehicle miles traveled, but this article from Crosscut argues that it also disregards the role sidewalks and curbs play in public safety and water retention.