Designing the Walkable City

With federal policy beginning to shift from auto-centric planning, provision for pedestrian and bicycle access is now mandated in federally supported projects. However, the field of transportation planning has little in the way of theory and methods to guide design and planning for walkable cities. Walkability is increasingly valued for a variety of reasons. Not only does pedestrian transportation reduce congestion and have low environmental impact, it has social and recreational value. Recent research suggests that walking also promotes mental and physical health. The quality of the pedestrian environment is key to encouraging people to choose walking over driving. Six criteria are presented for design of a successful pedestrian network: (1) connectivity; (2) linkage with other modes; (3) fine grained land use patterns; (4) safety; (5) quality of path; and (6) path context. To achieve walkable cities in the United States it will be necessary to assess current walkability conditions, revise standards and regulations, research walking behavior in varied settings, promote public education and participation in pedestrian planning, and encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary education between transportation engineers and the design professions.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01014732
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 4 2005 2:16PM