Walkability reaches a tipping point

1 August 2016

How can our cities be retrofitted for walking?

Some ideas include: adding public art to walkable areas, providing economic incentives for not driving, and reconfiguring parks and streetscapes to make them more amenable to pedestrians.

The benefits, as this article in Doggerel notes, are many.

"Some of the strategic co-benefits the research identified are fairly obvious, such as cutting pollution by taking cars off the road, curbing urban sprawl, and producing human-scaled public spaces.

But others are less so — economic rationales, for instance: walkable places have been proved time and time again to attract new residents and tourists to cities, increase foot traffic around businesses, and raise property values. In Barcelona, redesigning streets for walkability helped raise annual visitor rates by more than 300% in some areas. Pedestrianizing London’s Trafalgar Square has made it more popular as well," the author writes.

Walkable places have been linked to an increased sense of social cohesion, in addition to helping fight health problems associated with sedentary lifestyles. What steps have you taken to lead a more active lifestyle?

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