What is Walkable Urbanism?

Posted: August 21st, 2008
at 12:44pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: what is?

Comments: 4 comments


4 Responses to 'What is Walkable Urbanism?'

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  1. I mean, this is kind of BS tho – “walkable urbanism” is really just new urbanism” in developer-speak, which really just means building new urban areas. Essentially “urban” areas are inherently walkable/have public transit access to begin with – as the density of urban space dictates both of these things. “New Urbanism” was only called that because the US had turned it’s back on the city and embraced the suburb – there was really nothing new going on, more like “urbanism, again”. The most tangible difference is that whole communities are built at once – like the suburbs – rather than growing more organically over time [they still grow organically or whatever, to a point – I’m just saying that they start out much larger and homogeneous than they would otherwise, as they’re planned from he start].

    The irony is that developers are the primary reason why we’re in such desperate need for so called “walkable urbanism”, as they were such a large part of sprawl, suburban infill, and so on, to begin with.

    It’s interesting, however, how much they’ve embraced the concept [because it’s hip and makes them that do-re-mi] – and good for the rest of us [kind of]. Unfortunately, many of these developments are inaccessible by public transit from other communities [they may have their own shuttles or something], and basically hide cars while you’re there, but citizens end up needing them. Better than suburbs tho.

    But yeah, if you’re interested in this peep < a href="http://www.seasidefl.com/">Seaside, FL – or better yet, read Suburban Nation.


    21 Aug 08 at 8:39 pm


  2. Had no idea that they were basically themed and new communities. I was under the impression that walkable urbanism was more like urban renewal or something..thanks for the link. Itd be sweet to live there, but maybe in a different rendition.


    21 Aug 08 at 9:18 pm


  3. Well, I suppose you’re right – its also urban renewal, kind of. Maybe developers refer to the two things the same – I just feel as if in architecture when one is working in a city – which is obviously walkable, or able to be made walkable [as even a city with failing businesses and a lack of transit is still dense, which I think is the first thing you need: density] they wouldn’t use a term like this. However, when you build new communities – but make them “urban” – that’s what I think of as “walkable urbanism”. It’s a promise for an urban experience, which is obviously both hip and better than suburban living in many ways [car independence, time saved commuting, sense of community] – but it lacks the things people don’t want in the city: poverty, violence, compartmentalizing of minority groups, issues with public schools, and so on.

    To be honest, tho, I really don’t particularly like these things – so I’m biased. For instance, just now on NPR they were talking with a woman who lives in one of these communities BUT COMMUTES 50 MILES TO WORK. So, her family basically purchased a trend – as she obviously isn’t trying to take the local bus to work or ride her bike or something. Retarded.

    But if you’re interested in urban renewal type work I would look more directly into that. Or when you get into “walkable urbanism”, be sure that it’s transit oriented and connected to a real city by public transit.


    22 Aug 08 at 7:46 am


  4. Crazy city-speak.

    I guess whatever gets the job done.. couldn’t imagine making long commutes to and from the city everyday. TOD seems like the way to go.. But what incentives could be given to people to take the bus or ride the bike? (If most jobs are next to train stations anyway commuting should be redefined)


    22 Aug 08 at 4:24 pm



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