Walkability offers surprising benefits to our health, the environment, our finances, and our communities.
Health: The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood.1
Cities with good public transit and access to amenities promote happiness.2
Environment: 82% of CO2 emissions are from burning fossil fuels.3 Your feet are zero-pollution transportation machines.
Communities: Studies show that for every 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%.6
One-Mile Walk in a Compact Neighborhood
A one-mile walk in Seattle's Phinney Ridge takes you through a grid-like street network with a mix of residences and businesses.
One-Mile Walk in a Sprawling Suburb
A one-mile walk in Bellevue, WA with cul-de-sacs and winding streets has few shops and services within walking distance.
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
- A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.
- People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
- Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
- Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
- Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
- Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
- Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.