How many places do you regularly walk and cycle to in your neighborhood? Do you leave your car at home and enjoy an evening stroll or a quick bike ride for a light load of groceries or to grab dinner with friends? Do you walk from work to get lunch as an opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy some fresh air? Guess what, new studies are showing that your health and happiness are directly related to doing more of these kinds of activities.
Now is the perfect time to put your neighborhood to the one-mile test. Think of all the places you can go for fun, exercise and errands that are within one mile of your house. These places provide the perfect opportunity for you to walk and bike more as part of your daily routine.
Knowing what is available to you within a one-mile radius increases your ability to be active, significantly improving your health and happiness. Walkability isn’t just important for individual happiness, it’s also important for businesses in the neighborhoods where people live.
Jess Lowry is an Austin transplant with big ideas about simple ways everyone can encourage walkability. She encourages everyone to channel their inner urban planner when it comes to crowd sourcing walkability. That is her motivation behind a kickstarter campaign for a walkability tool (mobile app) called Key to the Street. The tool has seen many positive reincarnations with a widening audience as a “tool that not only serves users local recommendations, but also allows you to redesign unwalkable streets. Allowing you to rely on your car less and walk from your current location to a local recommendation.”
On her tumblr Lowry says:
I showed the [SXSWi] panel images of The Highline in NYC, Candy Chang’s I Wish This Was experiment in New Orleans and video from The Johnny Cash Project. And I asked the question, “Can a tool allow us to collaboratively redesign unwalkable streets?”
Her pitch won and Key to the Streets is currently under construction!
This month GOOD Magazine is challenging readers to share their ideas about how to fix your street to make a safe and attractive environment for pedestrians and cyclists. What improvements (big or small) would make it more inviting for you to get out and explore?
Take the one-mile test to see what’s out there, and then share your ideas for how to make our neighborhoods more walkable.