Walkable Communities

Photo: Gabe Hanson

OVERVIEW

Millions of people have bought a wearable device to encourage themselves to get more exercise. And more and more people are trading long commutes for walkable neighborhoods. There are good reasons for designers to encourage these trends.

Walkable communities have been tied to:

  • lower rates of obesity

  • more community engagement

  • higher rates of reported happiness

And pursuing a more energy-efficient building to reduce carbon emissions can count for naught if the occupants have to drive to get there, as transportation energy can easily outweigh even the most ambitious energy-reduction measures at the site.