Walkability offers surprising benefits to our health, the environment, our finances, and our communities.
Health: The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood. Cities with good public transit and access to amenities promote happiness.
Environment: 82% of CO2 emissions are from burning fossil fuels.
Finances: Cars are the second largest household expense in the U.S.4 One point of Walk Score is worth up to $3,000 of value for your property.
Communities: Studies show that for every 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%.
A one-mile walk in Seattle's Phinney Ridge takes you through a grid-like street network with a mix of residences and businesses.
A one-mile walk in Bellevue, WA with cul-de-sacs and winding streets has few shops and services within walking distance.
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.
People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"
Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)
"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"
Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster
Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.
I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.