Gas Prices and the Value of Walkable Communities

The average family paid 25% more in gas in 2011 than they did in 2010. With that trend expected to continue into the foreseeable future, the case for the importance of walkable neighborhoods will grow along with it.

Scott Doyon looks at the painful price of long commutes in the face of rising gas prices. Walkable communities just got that much more appealing. Here's one family's story of what it's doing for them. Doyon writes:

"There's all manner of Americans right now 'preparing' for rising gas (and other energy) prices. But why does preparing have to be a reactive, punitive exercise?"

"While the average American household paid $4,155 for gasoline in 2011 -- a 25% increase over 2010 -- (in our walkable community) we paid about $1,400. And it wasn't because we made sacrifices. It was because we happened upon an immensely satisfying lifestyle that just happened to be less dependent on gasoline. At whatever price."

"The true lesson here is that, since birth, many of us have been indoctrinated into a program of American Dream-like desires that may, in practice, bear little resemblance to the things that actually bring us satisfaction and joy. So long as we continue to pursue them, making decisions as though the cost of energy doesn't matter, we'll increasingly find ourselves at the cruel mercy of fluctuating prices."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Rolling with Ever-Changing Gas Prices: Lessons from my dumb luck

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95