Jeff Speck, principle of Speck & Associates in Washington, D.C., expert in the field of walkability, and author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, says that walkability’s regenerative properties are manifold. It can improve a population’s health, make a city more sustainable and help build a community. Simply put, “by increasing walkability, you become a place where people want to be,” Speck says.
One part economic development tool, one part community development tool, the concept of walkability is not just for urban communities any longer. Suburban and rural community members are also beginning to call for pedestrian-oriented streets. A 2013 analysis of focus groups in 20 Colorado communities that received technical assistance* in the last 3 years revealed that mobility and access concerns, especially the need for pedestrian-friendliness, was frequently cited even in the rural communities.
*These 20 communities participated in Downtown Colorado, Inc.’s technical assistance program.
See on americancityandcounty.com
Heather Garbo is the Director of Communications and Development at Downtown Colorado, Inc.