Advocates for building more walkable communities frequently point to the economic development, environmental and public health benefits of improved physical design. Now, a study from the University of New Hampshire adds social benefits to the equation. Researchers found that people living within walking distance of key amenities were likely to have higher rates of "social capital." They trusted their neighbors more and were more likely to participate in community projects or other volunteer efforts. Residents of walkable neighborhoods were less likely to report television as their major form of entertainment.
Changing the community physical design to improve walkability is one of the key pieces of the League's Center for 21st Century Communities. Visit our resource page to learn more about building on the assets of your community.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at 734-669-6323 or email@example.com.