Business/Commerce

Case Studies

What America’s Most Walkable Suburb Can Teach Towns Everywhere

America Walks is pleased to be able to offer access to the latest article by Jay Walljasper, What America’s Most Walkable Suburb Can Teach Towns Everywhere. The article highlights the growing trend of suburban leaders recognizing the power of walkable spaces to attract young people, families and businesses to their communities.  Jay examines Arlington County, VA, named one of … Continue reading What America’s Most Walkable Suburb Can Teach Towns Everywhere

Denver: Pedestrian Master Plan

Denver created a 2004 Pedestrian Master Plan as a response to previous citywide planning documents. Its 2000 Comprehensive Plan directed the city to provide more transportation choices and encourage modes that reduced impacts on urban environments. Blueprint Denver, which followed a year later, referred to the pedestrian environment as the city’s primary transportation element and … Continue reading Denver: Pedestrian Master Plan

Standish: Form-Based Codes

A town of about 10,000 citizens 18 miles west of Portland, ME, adopted a new comprehensive plan in 2006 with the main goal of conserving the town’s rural character while directing most of its future growth into village centers. While the plan set the policy direction for future growth, many details of how that future … Continue reading Standish: Form-Based Codes

Seattle: Parking Management

Seattle’s parking-management strategy dates back to its first Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 1994 in response to Washington State’s 1990 Growth Management Act. The state mandated city and county comprehensive plans and defined their goals, which included reducing urban sprawl and encouraging in-fill development. Within that political framework, Seattle created a Comprehensive Plan based on an … Continue reading Seattle: Parking Management

Cary: Subdivision Ordinances

Through the process of creating its 2001 Land Use Plan, the town of Cary, NC, formulated goals for itself: retain a sense of place, have a more human-scale and pedestrian-oriented environment, avoid strip development along arterials, focus commercial activity into discrete nodes, and increase connectivity. Street connectivity was seen as a way to foster a … Continue reading Cary: Subdivision Ordinances

Charlotte: Retrofit Street Connectivity

In 2006, the city of Charlotte, NC, created a Street Connectivity program within its Department of Transportation (CDOT) to run the “inventory and implementation of needed street connections within and between neighborhoods as well as the construction of new connectors and local streets to provide improved access and connectivity for future development.” The program is … Continue reading Charlotte: Retrofit Street Connectivity

Arlington: Transit-Oriented Development

Arlington County, VA, is one of the most successful examples of transit- oriented development (TOD) in the United States. In a case study prepared for the Transit Cooperative Research Board, the authors zeroed in on successful TOD tactics employed by Arlington County officials. One of the county’s first steps was to create a general land … Continue reading Arlington: Transit-Oriented Development

San Jose: LOS Exemptions for Walking

In the 1960’s, San José, CA, grew rapidly in automobile-oriented growth patterns until roadways became congested and undeveloped land more scarce. San José updated its transportation policy in 2005 to give priority to pedestrians, transit, and bicyclists in specific locations. Those areas included parts of the city zoned for higher densities, planned communities, and transit-oriented … Continue reading San Jose: LOS Exemptions for Walking

Vancouver: EcoDensity

The Vancouver City Council approved and adopted former Mayor Sam Sullivan’s EcoDensity initiative in 2008 in an effort to increase the city’s housing density while reducing its environmental impact. The council’s approval capped a two-year-long process of public and legislative outreach and discussion. The resulting EcoDensity charter outlined the goals of its initiative to overhaul … Continue reading Vancouver: EcoDensity

Tysons Corner: Malls into Walkable Destinations

Tysons Corner, VA, is a sprawling cluster of shopping malls and office parks at the intersection of four major highways in Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County. The regional economic hub contains more than 100,000 jobs but hosts fewer than 20,000 residents. Every day, thousands of commuters flood highways en route to jobs in Tysons Corner and … Continue reading Tysons Corner: Malls into Walkable Destinations

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forum: The Impact of Walking on the Environment and the Economy

Safe, walkable communities impact both the environment and economy. We’ve invited an expert in each of these areas. Jackie Ostfeld, Director of Nearby Nature for the Sierra Club, will provide the audience with a brief overview of walking and its impact on the environment and how getting children outdoors and more active will strengthen the … Continue reading Discussion Forum: The Impact of Walking on the Environment and the Economy

Walk and Work: Innovative Ways to Integrate Walking into Workplace and Business Practices

Join America Walks and Alliance for Biking & Walking for an informative and interactive discussion on Walk and Work: Innovative Ways to Integrate Walking into Workplace and Business Practices. At this forum, you’ll hear about: A university’s plans to integrate and provide walking and physical activity into the “workstyle” of employees. A major health plan’s regional activities … Continue reading Walk and Work: Innovative Ways to Integrate Walking into Workplace and Business Practices

Repurposing Public Spaces to Restore Walking on Main Streets & Beyond

Hear from featured speaker, Carol Dick, about each step in the process of turning underutilized public space in Lemon Grove CA, into revitalized Main Streets and Re-purposing Space. Carol Dick enjoys a successful career in city planning in Southern California. As the current Development Services Department Director of the City of Lemon Grove, a city … Continue reading Repurposing Public Spaces to Restore Walking on Main Streets & Beyond

Tactics

Use Walk Score to Your Advantage

The web-based real estate assessment tool Walk Score allows users, whether they are city-planning departments or individuals, to see and assess the walk-, bike-, and transit-friendliness of addresses and neighborhoods. Guidance Incorporate Walk Score into real estate evaluations to encourage development toward more walkable goals Incorporate Walk Score data into planning analyses for transit-oriented developments … Continue reading Use Walk Score to Your Advantage

Establish Walking Meetings at Work

Walking meetings are small-group business discussions that take place while walking, usually outdoors, instead of around a conference table. Guidance Determine the meeting agenda beforehand Determine the route and length of the walking meeting beforehand, taking into consideration the fitness and mobility levels of attendees Inform everyone they should wear comfortable shoes Schedule the walking … Continue reading Establish Walking Meetings at Work

Seek Recognition

Applying for a Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) designation, managed by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, provides national recognition for your city’s efforts to encourage and improve walking. Guidance Create an application committee with members from multiple agencies and backgrounds, including planners, engineers, law-enforcement officials, and advocates To find information requested by the application, reach … Continue reading Seek Recognition

Create a SmartTrips Program

A SmartTrips program is a direct, individualized marketing program that encourages neighborhood residents to switch from car-based transportation to transit, biking, and walking. Programs use various approaches, such as direct mailings, email and website outreach, text messages, blogs, social media, bike delivery of materials, and free events to educate and encourage residents to change their … Continue reading Create a SmartTrips Program

Permit Park(ing) Day Every Day

Inspired by Park(ing) Day, the annual event that invites citizens to transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks, cafes, and on-street bike parking, a local jurisdiction can create a simple, standard permit process to transform parking spots into longer-term public spaces. Guidance Seek a community partner to educate and engage the public Determine who … Continue reading Permit Park(ing) Day Every Day

Encourage Temporary Uses in Vacant Buildings and Sites

Local governments can create policies or programs to direct or fund temporary programming in privately or publicly owned vacant buildings or lots in order to create safer, more dynamic streets and sidewalks. Temporary uses can range from pop-up retail and art exhibitions to urban farms and community gardens. Guidance Create a working group with property … Continue reading Encourage Temporary Uses in Vacant Buildings and Sites

Transform Underutilized Malls into Walkable Destinations

Underutilized strip centers, malls, and aging office parks are ideal locations to transform into dense, mixed-use, walk-friendly destinations. The effort usually requires revising funding priorities, zoning regulations, and urban design guidelines in order to implement that walkable vision. Guidance Appoint a task force to organize regular and meaningful public participation, such as a series of … Continue reading Transform Underutilized Malls into Walkable Destinations

Diversify Suburban Land Use Regulations

Land use regulation amendments, ideally based on a vision created with broad-based public input, can encourage higher density and more diverse land uses in low-density residential developments. Guidance Consider zoning amendments that encourage: In-fill and row-house development New and diverse housing types, such as the construction of small homes in alleyways, above garages in single-family … Continue reading Diversify Suburban Land Use Regulations

Provide LOS Exemptions for Pedestrian, Transit, and Bicycling Infrastructure Improvements

This land use policy modifies how transportation impacts are analyzed and mitigated: When a proposed development would have a significant impact on motor-vehicle levels of service (LOS) in certain areas (transit corridors, transit stations, neighborhoods, or protected intersections), the policy would allow developers to replace automobile LOS mitigation with improvements for pedestrians, transit, or cyclists. … Continue reading Provide LOS Exemptions for Pedestrian, Transit, and Bicycling Infrastructure Improvements

Create Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

TOD is a compact, high-density, mixed-use development benefiting from its proximity to transit by supporting transit use, walking, and cycling. Guidance Create a strategic station-area development plan incorporating public input, and ideally backed by existing zoning regulations that recognize TOD principles Where existing regulations do not encourage TOD, proposed zoning exemptions could include reduced parking … Continue reading Create Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

Webinars

Walking at Work: The What, Why & How of Walking Meetings (November 17, 2016 Webinar)

Walking is a great way to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine. One way to make sure you are getting the recommended amount of steps is to turn meetings at work into walking meetings. This webinar explores the what, why and how of walking meetings and learn from examples of businesses and organization … Continue reading Walking at Work: The What, Why & How of Walking Meetings (November 17, 2016 Webinar)

re:Streets – re:Imagining, re:Purposing, and re:Constructing Our Most Valuable Public Space

Many of us take our streets for granted. They are places where we drive cars; some of them accept buses or bicycles or plain old pedestrians; and they transport us from home to work to shopping to entertainment: from A to B and from B to A. But streets can be so much more than … Continue reading re:Streets – re:Imagining, re:Purposing, and re:Constructing Our Most Valuable Public Space

Strategies to Transform the Built Environment – Lighter Quicker Cheaper & Healthier

An increasing number of communities are accelerating their progress through ‘Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper’ (LQC) strategies to transform the built environment by taking incremental steps, using low-cost experiments, tapping into local talent, and paving the way towards longer term change. Presenters from the Project for Public Spaces address the importance of creating healthy places and a … Continue reading Strategies to Transform the Built Environment – Lighter Quicker Cheaper & Healthier