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While we’re sitting here writing plans, guerilla urbanists are on the streets, identifying what they love about their communities.

The Walk Your City Kickstarter project will provide open source access to crisply designed signs that can be zip tied to telephone poles to encourage people to walk. As the signs point out, if it’s only a seven minute walk to a local park, why not?

The project has gotten a lot of media attention (fat, lazy Americans, etc.) but beyond addressing the surface problem–where to go and how to get there–the signs open a larger discussion of what is valuable in a community. What places are we proud of? What does it really take to make a place pedestrian-friendly?

It’s more than just sidewalks, there has to be a place to go, within a reasonable distance. The overall scale of a place has to be walkable.

a sidewalk to nowhere?


One Response to “We Are All Pedestrians”

  1. gk

    I think there will always be the places worth being in (hopefully, though not every community has them yet). The connections are the missing element. All too often a place that is pleasant and stimulating is surrounded by confusing and bland acres.

    In the vicinity of where I completed a recent project is one of America’s most eminent pedestrian spaces. Two hundreds yards away is a vast pool of befuddled tourists. Separating the two is a six lane moat of an arterial road and the 5 story ramparts of parking garages.

    At least once a week I fielded questions from such a disoriented pedestrians, “where….???” These people were leaving Miami Beach’s convention center and had no idea that a block away was Lincoln Road. Even the answer, “everything you could want is right there, just right there,” elicited skepticism as I pointed between the hulking garages,

    I think your post is right on. We have figured out how to create places: we haven’t quite figured out how to get to them.