Friday, December 28, 2012

How to Make a City Better for Walking

10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable (Kaid Benfield, Cities-the Atlantic, Dec 03, 2012)

Also discussed here: The Smart Growth Manual (Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, Mike Lydon, McGraw Hill, Oct. 15, 2009)

Today we review a ten things cities can do to make them more walkable and not as attractive for driving. Extracts are listed below but seem to boil down to making streets more attractive (more trees and interesting things to look at) and safer for pedestrians – and for cyclists –by slowing traffic and overall create a more  enjoyable place to live.

 walkable cities  

Key Quotes:
  1. “a car-first approach has hurt American very careful about assuming the merits of pedestrian-only zones
  2. neighborhoods with a diversity of uses – places to walk to – have significantly more walking than those that don’t
  3. we have a huge oversupply of underpriced parking, in large part due to minimum parking requirements for buildings and businesses.. recommends consolidated parking for multiple buildings and businesses and higher prices, especially for curb parking
  4. Let transit work…concentrating on those transit corridors that can be improved to support ten-minute headways, and working there to simultaneously improve both the transit and the urban fabric
  5. Protect the pedestrian…use narrow lanes and two-way streets…on-street curbside parking.. buffers the sidewalk from moving vehicle traffic.
  6. Welcome bikes.. bike traffic slows car traffic…car traffic isn’t really inconvenienced much if at all when the addition of cycling infrastructure is thoughtful
  7. Shape the spaces. …the amount of density to support good city walkability does not necessarily require tall buildings.
  8. Plant trees.. in addition to contributing to auto safety, trees provide myriad public benefits, including natural cooling, reduced emissions and energy demand for air conditioning, and reduced stormwater pollution.
  9. Make friendly and unique [building] faces…how far we will walk is all about what we encounter along the way. Stores and businesses with street-level windows does disguised or lined parking, vertical building lines, and architectural details
  10. Pick your winners…focusing on downtowns first, and on short corridors that can connect walkable neighborhoods”
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