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.
Walkonomics on how the reasons for not walking differ from city to city
Many cities are starting to wake up to the fact that they will have to become walkable and bikeable in order to function in the future. In our latest post, we look at how to benchmark the walkability of global cities.
How walkable is your city?
And another 8% were taken by public transport.
From the book ‘Why We Drive’, which we review here.
"Until more attention is given to public promenades and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, there is much to be done. There have been great strides to improve biking infrastructure in cities, and while this is important, the pedestrian experience should be the basis for city planning."
These are great. Giving pedestrians the opportunity to cross in all directions and getting automobiles from every direction to stop at the same time is a great reminder that cities are a collaboration.