Walkable, pedestrian infrastructure is a key element of a “Complete Community.” When sidewalks, parks, and trails are pleasant places to walk, all community members benefit. Unfortunately, not all places are walkable, but with the help of IPA’s Walkability Assessment Tool, citizens achieve positive changes.
Visit the Walkable Communities section of the toolbox to learn more about ways to improve pedestrian infrastructure. This section includes:
A WHYY TV video segment, “Gov. Markell on-bike interview,” aired on May 18, 2012. This video features Governor Markell talking with WHYY’s Mark Eichmann during a ride along Route 9 near Port Penn in support of the Bike to Work movement.
The Mineta Transportation Institute has published a new research report entitled, The Impact of Center City Economic and Cultural Vibrancy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, that concludes lower greenhouse gas emissions from reduced driving and greater public transit use are associated with more vibrant downtowns.
A WHYY TV video segment, “Exercise by Accident,” was recently aired on its weekly show First for Friday. The video features Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay, who explains how the Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living (DE HEAL) is working to increase physical activity and walkable communities. University of Delaware IPA Planner B.J. DeCoursey details how better community design can help people “exercise by accident.” IPA’s online and downloadable Walkability Assessment Tool was touted as a resource that can be used by Delaware municipalities to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a town’s walkability.
A recent New York Times article indicates that our “built environment” — where we live, work, play and shop — has become a leading cause of disability and death in the 21st century. An auto-centric society, and lack of walkable, bikable, and public transportation options, was noted as one reason for rising chronic diseases.
The University of Delaware IPA has two new Complete-Streets related publications that are now available online. Complete Streets in Delaware: A Guide for Local Governments is intended to help Delaware local governments achieve complete streets in order to provide more balance transportation systems and create healthy, livable environments for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Winter Maintenance of Pedestrian Facilities in Delaware: A Guide for Local Governments describes how Delaware local governments can improve sidewalk snow removal and winter-maintenance practices in order to foster walking as a year-round activity and safe mode of transportation.
This video provides an overview of the Designing Healthy Communities video series, featuring Dr. Richard Jackson and produced by the Media and Policy Center (MPC). The series focuses on how poor community design and sprawl has given rise to burgeoning health costs and serious public health issues. The video highlights four episodes—retrofitting suburbia, rebuilding places of the heart, social policy in concrete, and searching for Shangri La. The series provides a vision for building healthier communities and features communities that have succeeded in creating healthier living environments.
The Designing Healthy Communities four-part series will also be featured on WHYY, Sundays at 2:30 p.m. beginning May 6, see: PBS stations airing series.
Where the Sidewalk Begins, a Designing Healthy Communities video, features Dan Burden, executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute.
In this video, Burden conducts a walkability audit and assessment to demonstrate how a community can be better designed for pedestrians.
Big-box commercial jumble, lifeless cul-de-sac subdivisions, urban sprawl, deteriorated downtowns, and traffic jams aren’t just sickening sites, but literally may be making Americans sick. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests how places are designed and built can cause and complicate grave health problems for individuals and whole populations. This article illustrates examples of how strategies such as New Urbanism and health-focused design solutions can promote walkability, mixed use, connectivity and civic space within communities.
A recent report, “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities,” shows a positive correlation between walkability and housing prices in 13 of the 15 housing market studied. The study used a Walk Score measure, which reflects the convenience and proximity of having shopping and cultural activities near residential neighborhoods and mixed-use developments. For each one-point increase in a Walk Score, a $500 to $3,000 increase in home values was realized. The study concludes that there is clearly a market demand for walkable neighborhoods and should be regarded as a measure of urban vitality.