Walkable cities' aim is to minimize the need to have or use cars and to make car alternatives enticing. In walking-friendly areas, people drive between 20 and 40 percent less, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A city can improve their "walk appeal” through infrastructure elements such as wide and well-lit walkways, safe pedestrian crossings, and connection to mass transit. Ultimately, walkable cities are easier and more attractive to live in, house happier citizens, and promote health, prosperity, and sustainability. Project Drawdown lists walkable cities as an impactful solution for reducing carbon emissions and slowing down climate change.
In one of the stories in this collection (see below), San Francisco approves a project to redesign a "high-injury corridor" into a car-free zone for pedestrians, transit and bicycles. Another explains the success of Oslo, Norway, which experienced zero pedestrian deaths in 2019 through redesign of infrastructure and a now car-free city center. In Copenhagen, planners are using big data analysis to best allocate resources supporting pedestrians and bicycles. Several cities, including New York City, San Paulo, Barcelona and Pontevedra, Spain, have implemented creative and cost-effective measures to increase walkability. This solution is one of the Drawdown Ecochallenge actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is featured in the Campus Ecochallenge.
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