Sunday, April 30, 2017

Shared points of value: "Taking Sides? With Walkability, There’s No Need."

Given our own perennially miserable Rosenbargerian experience locally, it's an almost revolutionary idea.

To get walkable places, advocates of good urbanism have to answer “What’s the value to me?” for both developers and the public.

The author's three-part format identifies the topic and provides points of value for developers and the public alike.

Quality Building Fabric
Open Space and Trails
Variety of Housing Types

It is clear and concise, and accordingly, there's almost no chance Deaf Gahan can hear it.

Taking Sides? With Walkability, There’s No Need, by Arti Harchekar (Opticos Design)

As advocates of walkable, livable places, we’ve been involved in urban design discussions around the country and worldwide, observing, learning and understanding firsthand the key steps to successfully creating walkable places—and supporting existing ones.

Form-Based Coding is a key tool to unlocking walkability, but we’ve found simply having empathy for all parties at the table can be paramount. While almost always interested in building the long-term value of a community, administrative staff may be facing certain political pressures in the present. At the other end of the room, developers are often focused more on a near-term gain than long-term assets. Working through design alternatives that positively impact both of these interests can be challenging.

A rule of thumb? To get walkable places, advocates of good urbanism have to answer “What’s the value to me?” for both developers and the public. Here are some of the top discussion points we’ve seen gain traction with both “sides” of the urban design discussion.


What Is It? Having amenities and jobs close to housing; building activity geared to the public realm; a physical environment that’s nice to be in, not just pass through

Developer Value: Walkability adds long-term value by catering to the 50% of the population that considers being able to walk to daily goods and services a high priority. Near-term value is gained through narrower streets in well-connected networks by generating better access to the lot and adjacent lots, reducing traffic speeds, reducing stormwater runoff and reducing cost for construction and maintenance. Reductions in traffic speed can potentially increase adjacent residential property values. Long-term value is gained through the ability of such a network to be able to adapt more easily to unexpected market shifts.

Public Value: An interconnected network of streets with pedestrian-oriented characteristics adds long-term value by creating a better balance of land uses and economic generators. Narrower streets in well-connected networks decrease accident rates, facilitate mobility choice, and enable the reduction of vehicular miles traveled.

No comments: