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A Picture Worth 1,000 Arguments for More Walkable Streets

A Picture Worth 1,000 Arguments for More Walkable Streets

The above photo comes from The Walkable and Livable Cities Institute, led by the indefatigable Dan Burden. The Institute posted it on Facebook yesterday, with this caption:

Most of us will outlive our ability to drive. If we want to be able to stay in our neighborhoods, in our homes, beyond our driving years, we need streets that support us in walking. This neighborhood street in Smithtown, NY, could really use at least a sidewalk.

I just can’t add to that. The photo tells the story.

Here’s another:

This family in central Florida needs to cross a street, but there isn't a crossing within a quarter-mile. So they take their chances with the six lanes and cars passing at 45 to 55 mph.

Ugh.

The Walkable and Livable Cities Institute is a great resource for all who are interested in people-focused development. I especially like the way they teach visually, as in this aspirational re-imagination of a road in Orange Beach, Alabama:

Here is an excerpt from the group’s mission statement:

  • We inspire by helping communities envision a better future, by sharing examples and success stories and by displaying a personal commitment to the movement.
  • We teach the benefits of walkability and livability, best practices in designing for active transportation and strategies for successful civic engagement and implementation.
  • We connect community members and leaders to important resources, engage them in the process, and help them communicate with each other.
  • We support with ongoing guidance, educational materials and by celebrating successes widely.

Go here for more information about the Institute.

This post originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog.

Keywords: Walkability

Kaid Benfield is special counsel for urban solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and author of several books on cities, smart growth and sprawl. All posts »

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