green streets
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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Five Cities Show the Future of Walkability

Five Cities Show the Future of Walkability | green streets |

To walk in our cities is more than just a simple act of transport. Walking represents an appropriation of urban space for daily life. It means being an active part of the urban environment by learning, understanding and shaping the city on a personal level. Walking is one of the most democratic and equitable ways of getting around, but it’s also one of the ways most linked to factors outside an individual’s control, like social or physical abilities and the presence of infrastructure to walk comfortably and safely.

These are the factors that define walkability, which refers to how safe, convenient, and efficient it is to walk in an urban environment. Walkability has a direct impact on urban residents’ mobility, as the term is often used to communicate how likely the average person is to choose walking over other modes of transport in a given area...

Zaiter Ramzy's curator insight, April 23, 2015 5:47 AM

Bien vu les vertus de la marche à pied urbaine pour l'appropriation du territoire par ses habitants, quelques exemples de Helsinky à Hambourg

Catherine Bossis's curator insight, April 30, 2015 5:59 AM

Je ne suis pas Bordelaise, ni au fan club du Maire de Bordeaux, je me déplace beaucoup en France. Ce week-end j'ai marché à Bordeaux et deux choses m'ont sauté aux yeux : 1- il y a des bancs (propres et agréables) partout en centre ville. On peut se reposer très facilement, ce qui facilite grandement la marche surtout des personnes à mobilité réduite (comme mes ados un peu paresseux !). 2- j'ai vu des enfants faire du vélo, ce que je ne vois pas à Toulouse par exemple où cela reste très dangereux de circuler en vélo (ce que je pratique chaque jour).  Dans d'autres collectivités Françaises j'observe un retour en arrière sur la piétonisation et la cyclabilité et c'est bien triste.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 26, 2015 11:58 PM

Walkability enhances social connectedness and community identity - therefore perceptions of liveability

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The Most Walkable Cities and How Some Are Making Strides

The Most Walkable Cities and How Some Are Making Strides | green streets |

Densely populated neighborhoods, commercial district city squares and multiple public transit lines all span the city of Cambridge, Mass., creating an environment ideal for walking.

The most recent Census counts estimate nearly a quarter of the city’s residents walk to work, far more than any other larger U.S. city.

Many localities across the country are continuing to push policies and planning initiatives aimed at making communities more walkable. Recent census figures depict a wide variation in commuting habits among the nation’s urban centers, showing some have done much more than others.

Nationally, only a small fraction of people primarily walk to work – the measure the Census Bureau estimates in its annual American Communities Survey. In a select group of cities, though, recent data illustrates the extent to which walking has emerged as an everyday means of commuting.

Raymond Versteegh's curator insight, December 20, 2013 6:47 AM

Walking is fun. And smart.

Norm Miller's curator insight, December 20, 2013 12:41 PM

It helps if you live in Southern California but then if you live in LA you never walk anywhere.

ParadigmGallery's comment, December 21, 2013 9:27 PM
XO Cambridge, I walked to work for three years...interesting article
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America's Most Bikeable Neighborhoods

America's Most Bikeable Neighborhoods | green streets |

'In honor of Bike to Work Day, we pulled together a list of America's most bike-friendly neighborhoods.'

The neighborhood rankings below are based on the latest neighborhood-level data provided to us by Walk Score (Walk Score measures walkability, Bike Score measures bikeability).

Bike Score places neighborhoods and cities into four categories based on a 100-point score (ranked on bike lanes, hills, destinations and road connectivity, and bike commuting mode share): Biker's Paradise (90-10), Very Bikeable (70-89), Bikeable (50-69), and Somewhat Bikeable (0-49). The data here cover more than 7,000 neighborhoods across the United States and the table at the article link shows America's 25 most bikeable neighborhoods.

Jim Gramata's curator insight, May 20, 2013 2:37 PM

Bike the Drive this weekend in Chicago!

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10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable

10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable | green streets |
In Jeff Speck’s excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades. I don’t necessarily agree with every detail, and my own list might differ in some ways that reflect my own experience and values. But it’s a heck of a good menu to get city leaders and thinkers started in making their communities more hospitable to walkers.

Visit the article link to read more details and examples of the author’s ten steps of walkability...

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Using Smartphones to Improve Walkability

Using Smartphones to Improve Walkability | green streets |

When it comes to walking in the city, our smartphones provide us with pedestrian sat-nav, reviews of the best places to visit and even measure how many calories we’re burning. In fact, recent research suggests that our phones are encouraging us to even explore more places.

Now, a new mobile app provides an essential tool for the walkable lifestyle. It 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 uses over 600,000 street ratings from, covering every street in San Francisco, New York and England. But unlike other walkability apps, which only measure how many destinations are within walking distance, the Walkonomics app provides 5-star ratings for 8 different categories of pedestrian-friendliness:

  • Road safety
  • Easy to cross
  • Pavement/Sidewalk
  • Hilliness
  • Navigation
  • Fear of crime
  • Smart & beautiful
  • Fun & relaxing

The Walkonomics mobile app provides a crowdsourcing tool for events, allowing more people to be involved, add reviews and post suggestions. With more cities to be added, the app has the potential to become the new ‘must-have’ app for not only discovering and enjoying walkable streets, but also transforming and making streets more pedestrian-friendly...

Via Jandira Feijó
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Los Angeles on cusp of becoming 'major' walkable city, study says

Los Angeles on cusp of becoming 'major' walkable city, study says | green streets |
Despite its long love affair with the car, Los Angeles is on the cusp of becoming a “major” walkable urban area. And doing so could do wonders for its real estate market, at least in spots.

That’s the gist of a new report released Tuesday by SmartGrowth America and George Washington University, which measured the number of walkable urban neighborhoods in 30 big metro areas and looked at the potential to develop more...

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Benchmarking the Walkability of Global Cities

Benchmarking the Walkability of Global Cities | green streets |

The world is becoming increasingly urban: by 2010 more than half the worlds population was living in an urban area and by 2050 that figure may rise to 70%. As these mega-cities become increasingly dense and over-populated, the transport systems that support them are struggling to cope. Cities around the world are realizing they will have to become walkable and bikeable in order to function in the future.

One global organisation is working to connect and empower governments, citizens and communities to achieve a walkable future. Walk21 is a non-profit with the vision to “create a world where people choose and are able to walk as a way to travel, to be healthy and to relax” and champions the International Charter for Walking, which prioritizes the following characteristics:

  • Inclusive Mobility
  • Integrated Networks
  • Less Crime
  • Promotion of Walking
  • Spaces for people
  • Spatial Planning
  • Supported Authorities
  • Reducing Road Danger

Find more information and links at the article...
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Reading the City: What Makes a City Smart?

Reading the City: What Makes a City Smart? | green streets |

In Barcelona last month for a conference on smart cities (specifically, on how technology can make cities smarter). There were intriguing presentations and cool-looking “smart” trucks & electric bikes. I could have spent a lot more time “interfacing” with all the technology housed in the Fira de Barcelona convention center.

But I didn’t.

There are two common-sense truths to smart cities.

First, technology is awesome, yes, but we should be viewing it not as a silver bullet but one admittedly phenomenal tool of many in any city’s arsenal. (And, as many asked when the power went out during a panel discussion: How do you have a smart city with no electricity?)

Second, the most successful technologies are well-hidden — invisible, even. So after absorbing about all I could about open data, demand-based pricing and fiber optic networks, I reached a decision: I’m in Barcelona. I can learn a lot more about how a city works by actually experiencing it...

Via Jandira Feijó, Territori
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What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability

What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability | green streets |

City engineers have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at.

In Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (public library), city planner Jeff Speck, who spent four years leading the design division of the National Endowment for the Arts working directly with a couple hundred mayors to help solve their greatest city-planning challenges, turns a perceptive eye towards what makes a great city and how we might be able to harness the power of a conceptually simple, practically complex, immeasurably far-reaching solution in improving the fabric and experience of urban life.

Speck outlines a “General Theory of Walkability,” focusing on the four key factors of making a city attractive to pedestrians: 'it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Each of these qualities is essential an none alone is sufficient...'

Learn more about urban livability, how to create the conditions that enable pedestrian-oriented development, and the benefits of this approach to urban spaces to the economic, environmental, and cultural health of a city at the article link...

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