What Is 'Walkability,' Really?

Walkable developments are in demand, but what really makes a community "walkable"? It all boils down to three simple principles—physical access, proximity, and places—says John Lavey.
Gary J. Wood / flickr

We're hearing it more and more: that the vibrant, livable cities of the 21st century will be walkable. The term is evocative, but what it evokes depends on who you talk to. 

John Lavey explores the term and provides a simple mnemonic for thinking about walkability.

"Walkability is much more than just providing citizens with 'the ability to walk'. In our work with communities throughout the country, our team has observed several characteristics that result in optimal walkability. We are also alert to academic conversations that still carry on about quantifying, measuring and defining walkability. From these two viewpoints we propose a practical way to think about walkability. By and large, successful walkable developments incorporate three key principles, call them The Three P’s: 1) Physical Access, 2) Places, and 3) Proximity."

Full Story: What is Walkability?


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