About the author
Lonnie Chu is a resident of Eastwood who, with her husband Dave, chose to move to the city from the suburbs because it’s more interesting and more walkable. She teaches Spanish at Onondaga Community College and English at Syracuse University when she’s not out walking around.
About Eastwood: Eastwood is a neighborhood that is located in the northeast corner of the city of Syracuse, in the central part of New York State. This puts it within 100 miles of Canada, while New York city is 250 miles away. Eastwood was originally a village that was incorporated into the city of Syracuse early in the 20th century. It still retains its village feel, with a business corridor, a complete diversity of businesses, and many styles of residential mini-neighborhoods. Eastwood has a great number of community organizations, including Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT), the Eastwood Neighborhood Association (ENA), the Sunnycrest Park Association, the Eastwood Chamber of Commerce and many Neighborhood Watch Groups. You are encouraged to join the Walkable Eastwood email group to learn more about this welcoming, cohesive neighborhood.
About pedestrian-friendly vs. auto-centric streetscapes This blog has been created for the purpose of having one spot in which information in support of developing a walkable community can be gathered and published. We hope that this site will contribute to communication among Eastwood (Syracuse, NY) neighbors as well as be a source of information for other neighborhoods in Syracuse and beyond. We like… Pedestrian-friendly streets designed on a human scale:
Human scale: How big the buildings, open spaces and streets are (especially intersections) in comparison to the human body and… how safe and happy you feel when walking through those spaces. A more accurate definition: The proportional relationship of a particular building, structure, or streetscape element to the human form and function. “Human scale” often refers to the subjective objective that the relationship between a person and his or her natural or man-made environment should be comfortable, intimate, and contribute to the individual’s sense of accessibility.We don’t like… …businesses set back from the curb on huge lots:
This area is designed on an automobile scale. The distances are huge for anyone walking. Would you try to cross this road? Even getting from one business to the next on foot is nearly impossible unless the weather is perfect and you’re in excellent shape. Imagine this building on a city corner…. in winter. Or in blazing summer heat:
There is no place for pedestrians. They have to cross an auto-friendly wasteland to get to an overlarge building.
Okay, so this is a “Boring Rexall” drug store. But to anyone walking on this city street, it’s fun to look in the window and easy to get in. And the next store is right next door.
Remember when Eastwood was even more pedestrian-friendly? Eastwood’s James St. in the 1930′s
“How does a community create “walkable” streets? Streets that feels safe for all – particularly seniors and children? Streets that are sociable due to large numbers of pedestrian users? Streets that are richly interesting? Streets that provide comfort? Streets that breed a strong sense of civic pride?
“There are a number of essential ingredients that a community must use to craft and sustain a walkable street.”
Photo-realistic visualizations that make development visions palpably real and understandable. One of the very best sites I’ve seen on walkability.
Economic Benefits of a Walkable Community
“Economic development planning in communities of all size should recognize the importance of walkability. Local investment in pedestrian-oriented infrastructure and land uses can improve walkability and economic viability.
The Economic Benefits of Walkable Communities
This is actually a different but no less interesting article.
“According to a 1998 analysis by ERE Yarmouth and Real Estate Research Corporation, real estate values over the next 25 years will rise fastest in “smart communities” that incorporate traditional characteristics of successful cities including a mix of residential and commercial districts and a ‘pedestrian-friendly configuration.’”
Economic Value of Walkability
An in-depth look at the same issue as above.
Center for Community Economic Development
A set of excellent articles. “The Center for Community Economic Development, University of Wisconsin Extension, creates, applies and transfers multidisciplinary knowledge to help people understand community change and identify opportunities.”
Walkable Communities, Inc’s website What walkable communities are, where they can be found, economic benefits, health benefits.
Take a good look at the picture. Watch it for a minute. This is the essence of what makes an urban community walkable or not: the location of the parking.
Living in the Suburbs Can Make You Sick
To improve our health, the study suggests we should build cities where people feel comfortable walking and are not so dependent on cars
WalkArlington: website full of resources to help us understand why “walkability is one critical aspect of a healthy, vibrant and sustainable community.”
Eastwood’s Last Stand
An old-fashioned neighborhood embraces urban planning to control its destiny (includes history of Sunnycrest Golf Course)
“Regional and national business leaders say that low-density, discontinuous and automobile-dependent land use patterns can cause higher direct business costs and taxes. The federal Office of Technology Assessment estimates that a single house built on the urban fringe requires $10,000 more in public services than one built in the urban core.” - Economic Benefits of a Walkable Community