Daily Durning:Can Cities Influence Walkability?

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From the Daily Durning comes an interesting article from governing.com  on the importance of sidewalks to the liveliness of cities and places. Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities established the concept that holistic communities are based upon the opportunity to have face to face contacts with neighbours. Jane wrote: “Lowly, unpurposeful and random as they may appear sidewalk contacts are the small change from which a city’s wealth of public life may grow.”

Sociologist Mark Granovetter  reinforced this view in the 1980’s in an academic review that found the “most successful communities were built on what he called “weak ties,” informal contacts among casual acquaintances who stop on the street to share news, gossip or simple good wishes. A robust array of weak ties gives city dwellers access to jobs, child care and practical advice, and it enhances their overall sense…

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