Walk to work. Cycle to the store. Stroll through an esplanade from your townhome to your favorite restaurant. Such is the nature of pedestrian oriented developments. These types of developements are popular with young urban professionals and empty nesters.
Considerations for Pedestrian Oriented Development: The following list includes ten important factors to be addressed in developing a pedestrian oriented area:
1. The neighborhood has a discernible center. This is often a square or a green and sometimes a busy or memorable street corner. A transit stop would be located at this center.
2. Most of the dwellings are within a five-minute walk of the center, an average of roughly 2,000 feet.
3. There are a variety of dwelling types - usually houses, rowhouses and apartments - so that younger and older people, singles and families, the poor and the wealthy may find places to live.
4. At the edge of the neighborhood, there are shops and workplaces (and/or transit stations leading to workplaces) of sufficiently varied types to supply the weekly needs of a household.
5. An elementary school is close enough so that most children can walk from their home.
6. There are small playgrounds accessible to every dwelling - not more than a tenth of a mile away.
7. Streets within the neighborhood form a “connected network, which disperses traffic by providing a variety of pedestrian and vehicular routes to any destination.
8. The streets are relatively narrow and shaded by rows of trees. This slows traffic, creating an environment suitable for pedestrians and bicycles.
9. Buildings in the neighborhood center are placed close to the street, creating a well-defined outdoor room.
10. Parking lots and garage doors rarely front the street. Parking is relegated to the rear of buildings, usually accessed by alleys.
Implementation & Benefits of Pedestrian Oriented Development: Successful implementation requires a shift from modern, automobile-dependent development toward more traditional design practices that provide safe, convenient opportunities for walking, biking and otherwise accessing key destinations such as school or work. This transition to pedestrian- and public transit-oriented development will help to eliminate quality of life impairments, such as congestion and air pollution, loss of open space, costly road maintenance and public health services, inequitable distribution of economic resources, and loss of a sense of community.