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Space Design Must Work for People. Use Neighbourhoods.

Inspired by a post from a fellow contributor stating the essential element for vibrant cities or communities is pedestrians, we can focus on ways to make a city livelier with pedestrians.

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The underlying spark for this post is Jane Jacobs’ argument against suburbanization and the need to shape cities by way of tight-knit (walkable) neighbourhoods. The benefits of doing so?

1) Accessibility

2) Sense of community / belongingness (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs)

3) Safer streets (people are always out on the streets, creating natural surveillance)

4) Healthier citizens

5) Livelier streets

6) Local business traffic

7) ETC…

Therefore, cities should work with urban planners to design them in such a way that creates not only economic growth, but lasting energy for people to live in. Build in terms of neighbourhoods and put things in the area that matter to people and meet economic goals. Vibrancy would be restored on so many levels.

Inspiration: Take to the streets.

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Photo of Jessica

I'll add another to Jane Jacobs' list -- healthier citizens! (this assumes the walkable neighborhoods are safe of course)

Glad to see her referenced in these inspirations, she's such a classic in the urban planning field!

Definitely agree with you on the need to create walkable environments. When I lived in China, one thing that made their cities so vibrant was the walkability of the neighborhoods.

Have you heard of Walkscore? http://www.walkscore.com They rank how "walkable" a location is based on the density of grocery stores, parks, libraries, public transportation etc. in the vicinity -- essentially, how realistic it would be that a person would walk everywhere.

Photo of Melissa

Funny thing is, I learned about Walkscore from the inspiration that inspired this inspiration! Great how everything just connects huh? =) Perhaps that's a tool for urban planners to keep in mind.

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