How the Internet is Improving Your Walkshed

<em>Worldchanging</em>'s Alex Steffen reflects on the increasing impact of Internet-enabled information sharing at the community level, and suggests that it's helping to make neighborhoods more walkable.
April 11, 2010, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"As technology has suffused our cities -- think not only iPhones and GoogleMaps, but community ratings of restaurants and shops, real-time traffic reports, smart electrical grids, even hyper-local news sites -- it has magnified the feedback loop between online connection and in-person conversation: we're learning that public space and cyberspace are symbionts; technology and physical community fuel each other. The trend is only accellerating. Technology has gotten smaller, spread out and become ubiquitous in urban space. We're surrounded constantly by data points, sensors, and layered information about everything from transit delays to weather reports to the bar where our friends are having happy hour.

As cities become smarter, urban living becomes much more efficient, and in many ways more pleasurable. With the street being a platform for technology, it becomes much easier to know where the things we want are and who has them and how they're using them."

This increase in local information stands to be a boon of the urban walkshed, according to Steffen.

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Published on Monday, March 29, 2010 in WorldChanging
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