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Do we want a cup of coffee that is merely drinkable? A meal that is just edible? A book that is only readable? Of course not! We want things that are aromatic, delicious, and engaging! So why should we settle for places that are merely walkable? Why not places where we love to walk?
35 years ago, walkability was a high and noble goal because the default settings of city-building created such hideously unwalkable places. But thanks in large part to the New Urbanism, we have learned how to build walkable places again. Walkability is now commonplace in places that adhere to New Urbanist principles. Today, we need a higher standard.
A place with strong Walk Appeal is one where it’s appealing to walk, not one where we’re merely able to walk. And Walk Appeal is one of the strongest indicators of the economic health, environmental health, and public health of a place.
Healthy Walk Appeal drives the prosperity of neighborhood businesses, and can even make the difference between failure, surviving, and thriving. And those neighborhood businesses have many benefits for the neighborhood, including eliminating food deserts, allowing people to make a living where they’re living, letting people walk to daily needs, and keeping the neighborhood safer because there are more eyes on the street.
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