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Walkability – Complicated. Simple. Common Sense.

Posted by on in Green Living
There’s so much more to the concept of walkability than just a Walk Score. Sure, having metrics is a great start, but a Walk Score doesn’t measure the walk itself – are you walking under a highway overpass to get to your destination vs strolling down a picturesque, tree-lined street? I think walkability is a beautiful, holistic idea, but one that we’re just starting to scratch the surface of.

Walkability is about creating a better place to live – An experience that’s defined by more than just the mere distance from one place to another. Walkability is a combination of all the elements that make up a community – the sidewalks and streets, the architecture, common spaces, green spaces and most importantly, the people.

If you look at older neighbourhoods in Toronto, like Leslieville and the Annex, the homes front right onto the street. This simple concept naturally creates interaction with neighbours and people walking by, and enhances the walkability of the area by increasing social connections. A similar design trend is creating communities with homes that face each other or overlook a central courtyard or common green space. Again, this idea brings people together to meet, nurture friendships and in turn improves your experience as a pedestrian.

When we begin to integrate the various principles of walkability into how we plan and design our communities, towns and cities, we will begin to create beautiful places that will one day have the same charm and character of older neighbourhoods we admire and cherish.

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