Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time is a new book by Jeff Speck:
The General Theory of Walkability explains how, to be favored, a walk has to satisfy four main conditions: it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Each of these qualities is essential an none alone is sufficient. Useful means that most aspects of daily life are located close at hand and organized in a way that walking serves them well. Safe means that the street has been designed to give pedestrians a fighting chance against being hit by automobiles; they must not only be safe but feel safe, which is even tougher to satisfy. Comfortable means that buildings and landscape shape urban streets into ‘outdoor living rooms,’ in contrast to wide-open spaces, which usually fail to attract pedestrians. Interesting means that sidewalks are lined by unique buildings with friendly faces and that signs of humanity abound.
One of my biggest issues with Los Angeles since moving here in April is the lack of walkability (combined with a lack of decent public transit-ability). There’s a ton of great culture to be discovered, but it’s hard to get to if you don’t have a car.
Having lived in NYC for 12 years I’ve become spoiled with walkability.
via Brain Pickings