In the coming years, the pedestrian zone in the center of Brussels will be extended.
(see first picture: in green the current pedestrians streets, in red the coming ones)
It means that the look and the face of the heart of the city will be completely changed! The Mayor wants to follow the example of Times Square.
A group of people who live or work in the center came up with an idea of “Anspark” (a portmanteau word from the name of the main boulevard “Anspach”), and draw some plans (second picture).
If you want to read more about their plans and ideas here is the pdf where the image came from.
New York City is one of the most walkable, bikeable cities in the US. So what can other cities learn from it? Here’s four ideas
That’s compared to 20% in London and 10-20% in New York.
The heat maps can easily tell you how far away two points are at a glance, to let you know how long your walk is going to be.
"These maps show how long it takes to get everywhere else via walking and public transit," Hardin writes in an email. "This allows you to make some important comparisons, such as ‘if I move here, I can reach half the city in 50 minutes if I start at 8 a.m.’" His paper explains more of the technical details.
Space syntax and the modeling of walkability and urban pathways.
“The science is still growing, and the models are becoming more robust. Eventually, Stonor wants to map how space affects peoples’ social interactions. “How do the ways people know their neighbors vary with spatial layout?” he wonders.”
How would being 20 mins away from shops, cafes & schools, parks and medical centres improve your life?#planmelbourne
Plan Melbourne is the Victorian Government’s vision for the city to 2050
Share of commuters who walk and bicycle in U.S. largest cities. Source.
Lotta work to do, but it’s a start.
Downtown 2-Way Street; NACTO’s before and after.
Small moves, big impact.
Seventy-nine percent of Americans believe they should walk more, but forty percent say they do not do so because their neighborhoods do not have nearby services, shops, schools and work, according to a national survey released this week.
The lack of nearby walkable destinations ranks as the second most often cited reason for not walking. The survey found that the biggest neighborhood barriers to walking include a lack of sidewalks, drivers who speed, and drivers who talk on their phones or text. Crime ranks eighth overall out of 15 items as a neighborhood barrier to walking, but it ranks 5th among both African Americans and Hispanic respondents compared to 12th among white respondents.
The survey of 1,224 Americans nationwide was commissioned by Kaiser Permanente and conducted by GfK Custom Research. Assisting in the design of the questionnaire and analysis of the data were Professors Peter Tuckel and William Milczarski of Hunter College, City University of New York. All interviewing took place August 5 to August 13.
While six in 10 Americans describe their neighborhood as “walkable,” individuals who live in more walkable neighborhoods (“with places where it is convenient to walk to services, shopping, schools and jobs”) do, in fact, walk more. Four in 10 describe their neighborhood as “not very’” or “not at all walkable.” A majority of Americans do not choose their neighborhood based on its perceived walkability, however.
These findings were presented at yesterday’s session of the National Walk Summit in Washington, D.C., which I attended. Christopher Fleury of GfK added at the meeting that a slim majority of the respondents support smart growth measures, including smaller home lots, to promote walkability.
The team at Future Cape Town have put together these graphics on how citizens of Cape Town get around the city. How does this compare to where you live?
There is little argument that housing density influences transit accessibility and walkability in an urban city. Vancouver has the highest density among the three cities and has significantly higher transit and walk scores compared to San Jose. However, San Jose and Portland have similar densities— yet Portland’s scores are higher. Hence, density cannot work on its own. It takes good design (whether it is through planters or sleek transit vehicles), proper investments in people & businesses, and civic pride.
Civic pride, unfortunately, is often forgotten by planners— which is why participation in public outreach events are often very low. However, civic pride plays a large part in developing cities properly and in encouraging citizens to break out of bad habits that hurt cities (such as driving alone and littering). Civic pride makes people care about their city and when people care about their city, they want to make the changes and support the initiatives that help their city grow.
In Portland, there is tremendous evidence of civic pride. You don’t have to walk far in Portland’s downtown to find the sign, “Keep Portland Weird.” Portland is one of the greenest cities in the United States and is reknown for its plethora of successful small & mobile businesses. Try VooDoo Donuts and Big Ass Sandwiches, if you don’t believe me!
(The charts above were created for a research paper I worked on with various members of San Jose’s Urban & Regional Planning department about Urban Village policies).
Urban residents are also put off walking by issues such as cleanliness of streets, lack of amenities within walking distance and poor quality pavements.