One of the often-touted goals of neotraditional neighborhood design is to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment—one where residents walk and bike to local attractions, rather than drive. Several recent studies look at how people’s actions may support or hinder those aims.
Increase Physical Activity
Although much is known about park-user demographics, this research investigates visitors by determining their underlying motivations.
Building a diversified mix of stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues can draw pedestrians to urban centers and spur further economic development. Creating the initial nucleus for such development, though, is often difficult. One study reviews relevant research on these “catalytic buildings” to see what is known about their effectiveness. Originally published in Issue 1, 2003.
One of the feature articles in our last issue (October 2002, p. 1) covered two studies on walking behavior and neighborhood aesthetics. Three more studies also conclude that neighborhood design affects who walks, and how often then walk.
The important point here is how pedestrians can be generated in an environment around a catalyst.