A walkable city is simply a city that prioritizes green transportation like walking or biking. Walkable cities have become popularized by environmentalists who believe that walkable cities are more sustainable and economically beneficial. Walkable cities are also called 15-minute cities because they are, in theory, supposed to be built in a way that pedestrians can reasonably get anywhere in 15 minutes. The ideal walkable city would be set up in 3 zones. The 5-minute zone would include a town center, multiple housing types, and small businesses. The 15-minute zone would include schools, grocery stores, public parks, and so on. The 15-minute biking zone would include medical facilities and other higher education centers.
Cities that have trouble becoming walkable are made of single-use zoning instead of multi-use land. This means that areas in cities are separated for different functions. For example, if you need to go to the doctor’s office then to the movie theater, you have to travel in different zones. Cities like Plano, Texas and Tampa, Florida have already taken initiatives to create multi-use zones.
However, one problem with walkable cities is not necessarily building them but keeping them. 15-minute cities are more expensive to live in because of the cost of sustainable projects. This means that those who would benefit from walkable cities the most, like those without a car or low-income residents, cannot afford the initial cost of living in a walkable city.
The first step to creating walkable cities is rethinking old ideas about city planning. Thinking about what is truly needed in a city. Think about how necessary it is to have to drive 20 minutes to get from the doctor’s office to the grocery store. Imagining how a city could be built around pedestrian transportation instead of automotive transportation is a good first step.
This blog post is part of the CIMA Law Group blog. If you are located in Arizona and are seeking legal services, CIMA Law Group specializes in Immigration Law, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and Government Relations.