Walkable places for visitors

Assessing and designing for walkability

Authored by: Yael Ram , C. Michael Hall

The Routledge International Handbook of Walking

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138195349
eBook ISBN: 9781315638461
Adobe ISBN:


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Walkable places are often considered as an attraction for locals, visitors and tourists and as a measure of urban quality (Talen 2002). Cities, as walking spaces, were developed for their citizens around two forms of walking facilities – streets and what Solnit (2000: 177) described as, ‘anti-streets’, which refers to public spaces such as parks, gardens and promenades. While the ‘streets’ reflect everyday life and, before the eighteenth century were seldom used for pleasure, the ‘anti-streets‘ were often built solely for the pleasure of citizens, and especially the emerging middle classes of the industrial revolution (Walker and Duffield 1983; Jordan 1994; Harding 1999; Hickman 2013), and were initially designated to convey or resemble high-class aesthetics (Solnit 2000). In recent years, the streets, as well as the parks, have become foci of research, reflecting the understanding that walking facilitates the pedestrian’s mental and physical health (Frank et al. 2006; Wanner et al. 2012), and can provide environmental benefits as a mode of green mobility (Southworth 2005), as well as encourage the development and maintenance of social capital through engagement and familiarity with the neighborhood and local people (Leyden 2003; Alfonzo 2005; Mehta 2008; Buckley et al. 2016).

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