Walkable Communities and How to Promote Them

The US Surgeon General recently issued a call to action to promote walking and walkable communities. What can cities do to promote them?

According to the surgeon general, “Individuals have to make the decision to walk. However, the decision can be made easier by improvements to community walkability and by programs and policies that provide opportunities and encouragement for walking. Individuals and partners working together can make walking a national priority and create a national walking movement. A role exists for all sectors of society, including transportation, land use, and community design; parks, recreation, and fitness; education; business and industry; volunteer and nonprofit organizations; health care; media; and public health. Families and individuals also have an important role to play to help make the U.S. a walkable nation.”

When contributing financing to a project, cities can negotiate a public benefits agreement that emphasizes walkable features. RSG has helped clients to prepare for these negotiations.

Public agencies can use tax revenue projections to project what money will be available for future budgets to identify funding for sidewalks, parks, and other elements that encourage walking. RSG prepares these projections for numerous clients.

When supporting public housing, cities can give preference to proposed developments located in walkable neighborhoods and offer amenities that encourage walking. RSG helps clients to do this strategically, promoting walking and assisting in creating walkable neighborhoods for all.

Written by Dima Galkin, an Associate at RSG