No excuses: The myths vs. facts of building livable cities – Knight Foundation

No excuses: The myths vs. facts of building livable cities

Emily Munroe has heard the excuses so many times that the 8-80 Cities executive director includes a “myth vs. fact” section to the toolkit in her organization’s consulting reports. Everyone seems to love the idea of making cities more livable, but many believe their city or neighborhood is exceptional and what has worked elsewhere will never work at home. Here are some of the more common myths about making cities livable and brief responses; they are fleshed out in more detail in the toolkit.

Related Links

Want to build a bikeable city? Focus on those who don’t bike” by Andrew Sherry on Knight Blog, 10/10/2015.

The first rule of livable cities: pedestrians first” by Andrew Sherry on Knight Blog (10/08/14)

“Creating a more connected Charlotte, N.C.” by Susan Patterson (09/09/14)

“Does placemaking help democracy?” by Andrew Sherry on Knight blog (08/29/14)

Myth: European cities can’t be used as a guide to make this city more walkable and bikeable. They were built to be people-centered hundreds of years ago. • Fact: Many European cities have had drastic turnarounds in the last 20 years by taking risks and making the tough decisions during their urban planning and development.

Myth: North Americans want more cars and more highways. • Fact: When citizens become engaged, cities focus on people.

Myth: Walking and bicycling are not safe modes of transportation. • Fact: Activities become safe when appropriate infrastructure and safety measures are implemented.

Myth: The people in this city love their cars; this will not transform itself into a city of cyclists. • Fact: Bicycle infrastructure increases bicycle commuting.

Myth: Winter makes active transportation impossible in northern cities. • Fact: Winter is a challenge that can be met. With proper maintenance of sidewalks and well-designed trails, all residents can enjoy active mobility all year round.

Andrew Sherry is the vice president of communications for Knight Foundation.

Recent Content