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.
When it comes to walking in the city, a smartphone is now almost as important as a good pair of shoes. Our phones provide us with pedestrian sat-nav, reviews of the best places to visit and even measure how many calories we’re burning, while we walk. In fact recent research suggests that our phones are encouraging us to walk further in the city and explore more places.
Now a new mobile app from Walkonomics provides an essential tool for the walkable lifestyle. The Walkonomics app enables people to check the walkability of the street they’re standing in, as well as discover new walkable streets in other areas and add their own reviews. The free app, which is available for Android devices, uses over 600,000 street ratings from Walkonomics.com, covering every street in San Francisco, New York and England.
San Francisco is famous for its steep hills, in fact they are part of what makes the city so distinctive and unique. There are over 50 hills within the city and while they provide some great views once you’re at the top, they can also be a real pain to walk up!
Walking can and should be cool. If you don’t agree, then argue with the Cool Kids, who once said “If I catwalk this sidewalk, I can fly this”. If that lyric means anything, and I’m not sure if it does, it means that walking is the coolest form of transport.
But part of making walking more fashionable, is about creating street environments where we feel cool.