Qualities of a walkable neighborhood

Human beings are meant to be active in our communities, strengthening our bodies and our social bonds while getting to know the world around us. There are several benefits of living in an area where you can walk to where you might like to go. Daily physical exercise is proven to be key for maintaining your health and wellness all throughout life. Walking is an easy form of exercise that is gentle on joints and excellent for emotional wellbeing. This likely has something to do with the fact that it requires us to go outside, which is proven to support emotional and mental health by allowing us to spend time in the sun–the best way to get some Vitamin D. Living in a community where you are able to walk on a daily basis can have a deep and lasting effect on the rest of your life.

Using your car less is also good for the environment–and your budget. As the cost of fuel inevitably rises over time, having the ability to walk to get groceries, to go to work or school, or to visit a park can help you save tons of money versus having to drive each day for those basic needs.

Qualities of a walkable neighborhood:

Designed for pedestrians:

A walkable community has been laid out with the safety of pedestrians in mind, with plenty of room on sidewalks to move through an area as well as locating parking lots behind buildings, rather than between a building and the street/sidewalk area. This allows walkers or those who have cycled to a building to access it without the risk of encountering distracted motorists that navigating a parking lot would entail.

Inclusive streets:

Streets in a walkable neighborhood have been laid out for all forms of transportation–by foot, by bicycle, and by car, with enough width for public transportation such as buses and ride-share services to easily access sidewalks as needed while still allowing motorist traffic to move through safely.

Mixed use and income:

Most walkable neighborhoods offer a variety of housing options and accommodate the needs of people with a wide range of incomes. If the community’s ordinances allow mixed use, this ensures that people can work, stay, and play in one area–accessing entertainment, employment, and residential options all within walking distance of each other.

Neighborhood center:

A main street works to center a walkable neighborhood and helps tie together a walkable neighborhood and provides an arterial location for the many businesses, offices, shops, restaurants, green spaces, and large sidewalks that are needed to support the needs of this community.

Affordable housing:

Having access to affordable housing allows people who want to live in a walkable area to do so with fewer economic barriers. People are often attracted to walkable neighborhoods because they want to save money by not driving cars, which saves on gas and prevents adding wear and tear to a vehicle. Affordable housing ensures that they can take advantage of the other benefits of a walkable neighborhood, such as having numerous employment options and ways to provide for basic needs nearby.

If you are looking to live in a walkable community, Arkansas Suites offers a talented team of rental property specialists who can help you find the right place for you. Call us today to let our expertise help you move forward–wherever you need to go next in life.

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