A report from the 2015 Walking Summit: “The movement is expanding from walking as a way to improve public health to walking as a human and civil right, a moral imperative. A community that is walkable for everyone means less disenfranchisement and more connection.”
Source: The Movement to Make Every American Community Walkable – Project for Public Spaces
More about health.
I like health but what I want to see is more walking with purpose. Walking around the same block every day gets boring. Walking to the store to buy food serves a purpose. Walking to work, or to the restaurant serves a purpose. I’d rather walk 20 minutes to the store than sit in a car 20 minutes driving to the store. Sitting in a car seems like time wasted.
Studies that measure the effect of walkable communities in Canada and taking the train in Japan show that added steps to one’s routine can have positive effects on heart health.
Source: Getting Out of the Car Best for Blood Pressure, Weight Control, Studies Say
Source: AVMA supports U.S. surgeon generals call to action on walking and walkable… — SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
YES, it’s healthy to walk. I like walking the dog. The DOG loves going on walks.
But my first reason for loving walkability is the time saved by not driving. I don’t want to drive to the store, find a place to park and walk across the parking lot, get stuff, walk back across the parking lot, drive to the gas station, fill up, drive home. I’d rather walk to the store, get stuff, walk home.
Stop wasting my time. I only have so much and then it runs out.
In real life, this is Albert Lea, Minnesota, a town of 18,000 working to prove that healthy lifestyles like walking and good nutrition are not just big city things.
Source: Little Town on the Prairie Embraces Healthy Living
A health related article.
Los Angeles plans to reinvent itself as greener, more walkable city | Fox News.
LA might be one of the least walkable cities in the US. That’s my impression, anyway. This is a very ambitious plan to fix that, and I wish them well. It will be costly!
American cities are designed for cars—which makes life worse for everyone – Quartz.
I sent a note to the author:
I enjoyed reading your article about walking instead of driving. The movement to walkable communities and ditching our cars is gaining speed, and I welcome it.
There are two major problems with others and myself moving “downtown.”
The first is cost. A place where I can walk to work, and the grocery store is often wildly expensive to rent or buy. EVERYONE wants to live there, and thus the demand is high.
The second is noise. Virtually every apartment I’ve lived in is noisy. Hearing my neighbors stereo, TV, dog barking, disposal make living in such a place unpleasant. There are exceptions, and some get lucky by having quiet neighbors.
I’ve got no suggestion for solving the first problem, but the second can be solved by beefing up the building codes right along with zoning rules.
Regardless, the millennials are choosing jobs based on walkability. People getting ready to retire are doing the same. Cities not designed for walking will suffer if they don’t fix the problem.