Density: The Scary Word

Americans love traveling to cities where there’s excitement on the streets and people-watching is rewarding and fun; places where it’s easy to take care of the needs of daily life, yet these same routines often bring pleasant surprises. We take photos and put them on the mantelpiece to preserve fond memories. These cities – as small as Winter Park, Fla.; Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.; Princeton, N.J.; Burlington, Vt.; Sitka, Alaska; and Charleston, S.C. – have much in common, but the glue that …

The Infrastructure of Inequality

Put people first. That was a theme of the first national Walk Summit in Washington, D.C., Oct. 1-3. Unfortunately the message relayed by several participants was not encouraging. “I feel my life is worth less than nothing,” said one self-described vulnerable road user as she outlined the challenges of navigating our transportation system without a car. The Sunday before the Walk Summit, I was driving along a four-lane road in my neighborhood and was surprised to see a young man …

Congrats to Memphis! And Passage of the Nation’s 500th Complete Streets Policy

Today the nation will celebrate passage of the 500th piece of “complete street” legislation. This is a major milestone toward achieving safe streets for everyone, regardless of age and ability. All eyes will be on Memphis, Tenn., which landed lucky No. 500. Through executive order, Mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. has directed that new road facilities and major renovations accommodate all users and all means of travel. The city commits to building 15 miles of new protected bike lanes and will …

Indianapolis Cultural Trail: Known by Few, Used by Many

If there were an award for the most under-appreciated trail network, Indianapolis would be a contender. Home to some of the fastest race cars on earth, many Hoosiers leave their cars behind to enjoy the city’s futuristic people-mover system, or to walk and bike on what is undoubtedly one of the best trail systems in America. Earlier this year, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail opened with eight miles of great places to bike and walk. The Cultural Trail is a uniquely …

Walking Shapes Our Bodies and Our Lives

Our built and natural environments play a vital role in our physical, social, psychological, spiritual and emotional health. So, it’s important to find a neighborhood that’s well designed, connected, and to protect the green space that runs through it. Walkability lies at the heart of this picture. It builds social ties and cohesion; it strengthens our legs, lungs, hearts and minds, which in turn helps prevent or fight heart disease, diabetes, dementia and other serious health problems. As walking becomes …

Is Your Community Walkable?

Post by Nancy LeaMond: When we see the yellow school bus making its rounds and picking up kids, we know it’s time to turn around and head home. So go the early morning walks with one of my friends from the neighborhood. We’ve been meeting at the corner of a nearby school for years. We talk about health, careers, family, local arts and theater, good TV, bad TV. Stay Informed: Sign up for the AARP Livable Communities Newsletter Walking is a …