Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, July 30, 2021

50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets: from the Arup report, Cities Alive – Towards a walking world

The Fast Company article "50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets", calls our attention to a report by the ARUP planning firm, "Cities Alive – Towards a walking world." (Yes, the report is five years old, as is the article.)

It's another confirmation of the need to move towards "walkable city planning" and away from "pedestrian planning" ("Planning for place/urban design/neighborhoods versus planning for transportation modes: new 17th Street NW bike lanes | Walkable community planning versus "pedestrian" planning").

PS.  Last year, when I was writing a piece on Las Ramblas in Barcelona ("Why doesn't every big city in North America have its own Las Ramblas?"), I came across a youtube feed called "Watched Walker," who videos walks in various places.  

I think WW must be based in London, because during the pandemic all the walks are from London.

Last weekend, I watched "Walking the Wet Streets of Rainy London!," and I was amazed at how extensive is the pedestrianized network of spaces in many parts of London.  When I was there a few years ago, I was so rushed, and tired, and didn't have much time to explore so this is something I definitely missed.  I saw a bunch of superlative pedestrianized places, but not the network!


50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets

  1. It helps people live longer 
  2. It helps people lose weight 
  3. It reduces the risk of chronic disease
  4. It makes people happier
  5. It improves traffic safety 
  6. It brings back “eyes on the street” 
  7. It reduces crime in other ways 
  8. It makes neighborhoods more vibrant
  9. It enhances the “sense of place” 
  10. It’s a driver for creativity 
  11. It’s universally accessible
  12. It fosters social interaction
  13. It strengthens community identity 
  14. It connects people across generations
  15. It builds inclusiveness Traffic infrastructure, such as highways, can physically separate and segregate neighborhoods; better design for walkability makes the whole city more accessible to everyone. 
  16. It boosts the economy
  17. It helps local businesses 
  18. It helps make people more creative and productive 
  19. It improves a city’s brand and identity 
  20. It increases tourism
  21. It encourages more investment 
  22. It attracts the creative class 
  23. It increases land and property values
  24. It activates the street facade
  25. It shrinks the cost of traffic congestion
  26. It saves money on construction and maintenance
  27. It reduces health care costs Inactivity leads to huge health care costs. 
  28. It decreases dependency on nonrenewable resources 
  29. It minimizes land use
  30. It reduces air pollution 
  31. It cuts ambient noise 
  32. It helps improve urban microclimates 
  33. It can improve water management 
  34. It makes cities more beautiful 
  35. It increases active use of space 
  36. It makes better use of space
  37. It encourages people to drive less 
  38. It also promotes public transit 
  39. It increases permeability 
  40. It bridges barriers 
  41. It makes cities more competitive 
  42. It builds political support 
  43. It builds engagement 
  44. It encourages more stakeholders to participate 
  45. It inspires civic responsibility
  46. It promotes sustainable behaviors 
  47. It helps make cities more resilient
  48. It’s a tool for urban regeneration 
  49. It allows for flexible micro-solutions
  50. It supports cultural heritage

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