A community with a walkable culture is a desirable place to live, work, learn, worship and play. Their desirability comes from two factors. First, goods (such as housing, offices, and retail) and services (such as transportation, schools, libraries) are located within an easy and safe walk. Second, walkable communities make pedestrian activity possible, thus expanding transportation options, and creating a streetscape for a range of users – pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and drivers. To foster walkability, communities must mix land uses and build compactly, as well as ensure safe and inviting pedestrian corridors.
Walkable communities are nothing new. Communities worldwide have created neighborhoods, communities, towns and cities based on pedestrian access. Many personal and societal benefits of pedestrian-friendly communities are realized, including lower transportation costs, greater social interaction, improved personal and environmental health, and expanded consumer choice.
By building places with multiple destinations within close proximity, where the streets and sidewalks balance multiple forms of transportation, communities have the basic framework for walkability.