Why Walkability Isn’t Just About Proximity To Shops

Written by Adam Davies on . Posted in accessibility, Architecture, Carbon emissions, Design, Green spaces, land use, pedestrians, Proximity, sidewalks, streets, Streetscape, urban design, walkability

For many people, the concept of ‘Walkability’ simply means how many shops, cafe’s, schools and other services are within walking distance of a particular location.  While this is a really important part of a walkable neighbourhood (people won’t walk if there is nothing to walk to) there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that several other factors improve or reduce the walkability of a street or neighbourhood.

Now a new book by urban designer Julie Campoli adds to this discussion by exploring several key factors that combine to create truly walkable streets and communities.  In her new book from the Lincoln Institute: Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form, Campoli argues that simply having shops, services and venues within walking distance is not enough.

Are streets more walkable if the pavements are removed?

Written by Adam Davies on . Posted in accessibility, behaviour change, footways, safety, shared space, sidewalks, streets, urban design, urban walkability

For most of us, when we’re walking in the city, the safest place to be is on the pavement or sidewalk.  However a new movement in urban street design, called ‘Shared Space’, is challenging this kind of thinking.  Shared Space streets aim to reduce the dominance of cars by getting people and vehicles to share the road space.  Controversially, this sometimes includes removing kerbs so that there is no physical demarcation between the pavement and the rest of the street.  Surprisingly, this risky strategy has arguably made streets safer for pedestrians, with less accidents and slower vehicle speeds.  Now the UK government has released official guidance on Shared Space, which not only shows the benefits and problems of the idea, but also attempts to provide advice on how to create high quality Shared Space streets.

Take a tour

Take a tour of a walkable street