Delightful Density: The Answer to Suburbia's Missing Pedestrian

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Virginia Tech


The Pedestrian is compromised in the majority of our built landscapes. Today's dominant fixture is the automobile. Pedestrian and automobile efficiency are in direct competition with each other; to facilitate one is to inhibit the other.

Pedestrian functionality depends on the presence of walkable destinations, commonly referred to as multi-use areas. Pedestrian functionality is an important issue because sprawl, the current development norm, is reaching the physical limits of the countryside. Density is the positive alternative to issues we encounter as a result of low density such as increased runoff, pollution, congestion, obesity, physical inactivity, and road rage. â The alternative to sprawl is simple and timely: neighborhoods of housing, parks and schools placed within walking distance of shops, civic services, jobs and transit — a modern version of the traditional town.â 1 Improving pedestrian functionality has the ability to impact multiple aspects of our lives and improve the quality of life we experience. â We need communities that are occupied full time and that provide a world of opportunity for kids, communities that support women and men in their efforts to weave together an ever more complex life of home and work.â 2

1 Calthorpe, Peter, p. 16 2 Duany, Andres, p. 25



density, multi-use, pedestrian, Active living