Design Your Neighborhood for Living (not driving).

For 50 years America has been conducting an experiment in urban planning–designing all of our cities around the needs of automobiles. Lots of “free” parking, lots of highways, and lots of fuel subsidies to keep cars fed.  I think we can all agree that this experiment is coming to an end, and nearly every community in the country is trying to find ways to retrofit their communities for human needs.  Energy costs are continuing to rise faster than income levels, making not only driving cars, but buying houses unaffordable to a larger and larger cohort of the US population.

The video below from ASLA shows basic urban planning concepts that can be integrated into ANY community to make it more liveable. In my years of planning with literally hundreds of people, not one person has ever said that they wanted to drive more, or live in a community with more car infrastructure. The things I constantly hear are “I wish my neighborhood was more walkable” or “I wish I felt safer riding my bike around town” or “I wish we had more parks and open spaces.”  This video is a great primer on how urban design can address real human needs,  making places people actually want to live in, not just drive through as quickly as possible.

Designing for Active Living from ASLA on Vimeo.