The appeal of walkable neighbourhoods

Check out this link:  The appeal of walkable neighbourhoods

It’s an article from The New York Times about how neighbourhoods that are walkable are coveted–where everyday needs can be met by walking, transit or biking.  The piece links residing in such neighbourhoods with economic status and higher valued real estate.

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In thinking about walkable neighbourhoods, I’m reminded of an interesting book I read years ago:  Great Good Place:  Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, And Other Hangouts At The Heart Of A Community.

 

Some excerpts from the book:

“Having the necessities within easy walking distance is the defining characteristic, the common denominator, of vital neighbourhoods.  Convenience does not emerge where local residents make little more use of the neighbourhood than to eat, sleep, and watch television (well, now-a-days Facebook, Netflix, and surf the internet)–all within their homes.  But in localities where an easy walk secures postage stamps, dry cleaning, groceries, a magazine, or a sweet roll and a cup of coffee, there will be life beyond private dwellings.”

“In using nearby facilities, in visiting them afoot and regularly, the residents of an area effectively create a casual environment and reap its benefits…People get to know their merchants and their neighbors; from among the many, the compatible few are able to discover one another.”

“Such an environment is well described as casual because the elements of accident and informality are strong within it…Without having to plan or schedule or prepare, those who move about in a familiar and casual environment have positive social experiences.  They bump into friends; they receive daily doses of novelty, diversion, and social support.”

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