“It is within our power to create places that are worthy of our affection.”
– James Howard Kunstler

Maybe the metric of a good place is a smile.

  • Did you enjoy yourself?
  • Did you stumble upon an unexpected delight?
  • Did the place facilitate reconnecting with an old friend or getting to know a new one?
  • Did you create memories there?

This blog will focus on great places — and in particular, great places where people live:  within neighborhoods.  We believe that great neighborhoods are walkable places that contain within a quarter-mile walk single- and multi-family residences, restaurants and shops, various places for developing the intellectual life such as a library, a school, a good coffee shop or pub, and civic spaces such as parks, museums, and performances spaces for music, art, and theater.

Why a quarter mile?
Studies show that when people decide whether to walk or drive to a destination, most will opt for a walk as long as it is within a quarter mile (a five-minute walk) — if that quarter-mile walk is pleasant and welcoming.  We want people to smile when they walk their neighborhood.  We want them to smile because it has become a place for them, rather than just another “space.”  People smile when they are around things they love.

These pages will serve as an evolving scrapbook of tool kits, best practices, articles, books, examples, and ideas for creating or reviving these sorts of walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. Future blog posts will link to or discuss solutions from the perspective of policy, design, behavior change, and high and low-tech innovation.  While this project is a work in progress, already on this site you will find a wealth of resources:

  • The Fellow Travelers page provides a listing of groups that have done serious hiking, research and projects related to creating quality places.
  • The Reading Room links to articles and books that provide solid theoretical foundation, as well as examples and inspiration.
  • If you need a practitioner, check out the Really Good Architects page

We will be building out the content on all these pages, so check back often.


6 thoughts on “About

  1. This is a wonderful idea, Tamara. I look forward to keeping up with the posts and being part of the (walkable) community you’re building online.

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