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RV 2014: Activating Communities with Active Transportation by Wendy Landman


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Activating Communities with Active Transportation

Linking transit, pedestrian and bike infrastructure: Can it really create economic vitality and help build communities? Research is just beginning to answer those questions. Active transportation requires partnerships across government (for example, transportation, housing, community development, health, planning), nonprofit organizations and the private sector. Explore how active transportation is extending existing transportation systems, expanding transportation options and connecting communities. Discuss the prerequisites needed for success. Hear how pedestrian and bike-sharing programs are being used for commuting, last-mile solutions to support community development.

Moderator: Leah Treat, Director, City of Portland, Bureau of Transportation, Portland, Oregon
Lily Gordon-Koven, Graduate Student, New York University, New York, New York
Wendy Landman, Executive Director, WalkBoston, Boston, Massachusetts
Nolan Levenson, Reseach Assistant, Rudin Center for Transportation, New York, New York

Published in: Lifestyle
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RV 2014: Activating Communities with Active Transportation by Wendy Landman

  1. 1. good walking is good business making massachusetts more walkable
  2. 2. Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd. – P.T. Barnum “ ”
  3. 3. 15 minutes with WalkBoston • who we are / what we do • why walkability makes economic sense • low-cost strategies for making vibrant pedestrian areas with prosperous results
  4. 4. Text making massachusetts more walkable
  5. 5. A walkable community is: • unique, welcoming and friendly • active, varied, with reasons and places to linger
  6. 6. 1. why good walking is good business
  7. 7. If you want: • more potential customers • happy, healthy employees • higher, stable property values • public sector cost savings Then make walking: • safe for everyone • easy and convenient • interesting and fun • comfortable and inviting
  8. 8. Retailer, homeowner, city official, or CEO — walkability helps your entire community grow and prosper
  9. 9. Local businesses “ ....... thrive in densely-built, walkable communities, and are more likely to stock local products, supporting other local businesses. — American Independent Business Alliance, 2003 ”
  10. 10. Attracting & retaining employees “ Younger workers want to be in walking distance of work, restaurants, and shopping; they’re looking for more social interaction. — CNN/Fortune, 2011 ”
  11. 11. Employer advantages • walking keeps workers alert, productive and healthy • working in a walkable neighborhood appeals to employees • cost of employee-friendly amenities is reduced
  12. 12. Employers & employees “ Employees can save $16 for every $1 they spend on health and wellness, and workplace fitness programs have been shown to reduce employer health care costs by 20% — 50%. — American Heart Association, 2011 ”
  13. 13. Municipal & State budgets “ If one in ten Massachusetts adults started a regular walking program, the state would save $121 million in heart disease expenditure annually. — MA Department of Public Health, 2008 ”
  14. 14. Public sector savings • compact, mixed-use development has lower infrastructure costs [roads, sewers, etc] • offers independence to seniors, youth and non-drivers
  15. 15. A growing market “ Nearly half of the U.S. population – 150 million baby boomers and their children – may be in the market for walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods with smaller homes. — Brookings Institution, 2011 ”
  16. 16. Real Estate “ Real estate values over the next 25 years will rise fastest in communities with a compact mix of residential and commercial districts in a pedestrian-friendly configuration. — Real Estate Research Corp, 2002 ”
  17. 17. A 10-point increase in Walk Score increases commercial property values by 5% – 8%. [University of Arizona & Indiana University, 2010] Putting a number on property values • Walk Score: the new real estate barometer • proximity to stores, schools, parks, etc., adds value
  18. 18. Homebuyers “ Homebuyers will pay a $20,000 to $34,000 premium for homes in pedestrian-friendly communities. — CEOs for Cities, 2009 ”
  19. 19. Community support “ Small-scale pedestrian improvements along streets result in higher physical activity levels and have high levels of public support. — Centers for Disease Control, 2011 ”
  20. 20. 2. making walkable places
  21. 21. People walk when walking is: • safe for everyone • interesting and fun • comfortable and inviting
  22. 22. safe for everyone
  23. 23. Allow people to get where they need to go • streets & sidewalks balance walking, biking, transit, with cars • paths and crosswalks are where they are needed
  24. 24. Norwood MA: Once overlooked, the needs of pedestrians on both sides of the street are addressed, without needing to relocate parking
  25. 25. Make people want to be there • signs and crosswalks alert drivers to potential walkers • walking surfaces are smooth and well-lit
  26. 26. interesting & enjoyable
  27. 27. Draw people in • people want to see and be seen • activity outside and inside draws interest and attention
  28. 28. Make people want to be there • banners and art contribute to civic pride • festive lighting encourages evening activity year-round
  29. 29. Variety • varied activities ensure it’s a destination at all times • a mix of offices, shops, restaurants and residences makes it convenient
  30. 30. comfortable & inviting
  31. 31. Public facilities allow people to stay and linger
  32. 32. Year-round maintenance attracts walkers and shoppers
  33. 33. Separate people from moving cars • slow traffic makes it feel safe to walk • provide a buffer between the sidewalk and moving traffic
  34. 34. 3. how to start
  35. 35. Create an engaging sidewalk experience
  36. 36. Activate storefronts • windows should allow people to see into the store • transparency of storefronts deters crime
  37. 37. Get and keep visitors’ attention • encourage social interaction • make it a place they want to return to
  38. 38. Community input • use low-cost chalkboards and stickers • collect ideas for vacant buildings
  39. 39. Interactive technology • free wifi, SCVNGER apps and QR codes encourage people to pause and engage • audio history projects celebrate community
  40. 40. Start small & build over time
  41. 41. Experiment with pop-up/temporary retail • offer short-term permits, low rent, month-to-month leases • plan weekly and monthly markets
  42. 42. Test infrastructure changes as pilot projects • Times Square’s new pedestrian space • only $4,000 was spent on lawn chairs
  43. 43. Use low-cost events to bring people in
  44. 44. Spontaneous Dancing | Boston, MA & Columbus, OH • every age and ability can participate • little to no preparation needed
  45. 45. ArtPrize | Grand Rapids, MI • 100,000 paper airplanes — 20,000 spectators attracted • total cost was under $1,000 with many volunteers
  46. 46. Human Dogsled Race | Lowell, MA • attracts visitors from around the region • treats winter as an asset
  47. 47. Scavenger Hunt | Quincy, MA • collaboration attracted new business • participants enjoyed fun activities
  48. 48. Take advantage of community resources • build partnerships, coalitions and community spirit • tap into volunteer, social and business organizations
  49. 49. If you want: • more potential customers • happy, healthy employees • higher, stable property values • public sector cost savings Then make walking: • safe for everyone • easy and convenient • interesting and fun • comfortable and inviting summary
  50. 50. WalkBoston can help: • provide guidance, speakers, programs, technical assistance • create a walking map for your district • offer inspiration, resources, success stories:
  51. 51. good walking is good business 617.367.9255 | | making massachusetts more walkable