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Top 10 Walkability Features

Not just the top ten, but the ten qualifiers of walkability used by the Brookings Institution in their assessment of neighborhoods.  Walkability is a topic of major importance today because of its weight in improving urban economics.  The ability to walk in a community is a function of the quality of the urban fabric, that is the presence of interesting places like parks, shops, and cultural and civic amenities within walking distance.  Millenials and Baby-Boomers, who together represent the majority of American adults today, are driving less and seeking walkable places to live.  It is no mistake or coincidence that bike riding has recently become a hot topic, as high-quality bike infrastructure such as protected lanes leads to safer sidewalks and better mobility in general.

Urban Design Dimension

Features of Walkability


Attractiveness, open views, outdoor dining, maintenance


Potential barriers such as wide thoroughfares


Building concentrations and heights


Streetscape discontinuity

Pedestrian Amenities

Curb cuts, sidewalks, street furniture

Personal Safety

Graffiti, litter, barred windows

Physical Activities

Recreational tools like exercise uses

Proximity of Uses

Non-residential land uses in vicinity

Public Spaces and Parks

Plazas, playing fields, playgrounds

Traffic Measures

Traffic calming