For Walkability, the Journey is as Important as the Destination

This Big City reviews a new book by urban designer Julie Campoli that explores the elements crucial to creating walkable places. "Simply having shops, services and venues within walking distance is not enough."

In "Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form", published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Campoli performs a close read of 12 walkable neighbourhoods in the US and Canada, to explain the "key factors that combine to create truly walkable streets and communities." Looking beyond the mere proximity of destinations such as schools, shops, and restaurants, she identifies several other factors that "improve or reduce the walkability of a street or neighbourhood:

  • Connections – a fine-grained network of sidewalks and footpaths with plenty of intersections;
  • Tissue – Great architecture with small human-sized buildings, not big boxes!
  • Density – of housing and population;
  • Streetscape – well designed streets with wide sidewalks and crossings, that are easy and safe to walk in;
  • Green networks – plenty of street trees and green spaces."

"The streets and communities profiled by Campoli also happen to be really beautiful and fun places to live and work. The books extensive use of street photography helps to illustrate why people are so happy to walk in these streets, in ways that pure statistics and analysis can never do justice."

Full Story: Why Walkability isn’t Just About Proximity to Shops

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