When it comes to green living, one important aspect is walkability or how friendly an area is to walking. Several studies point to the positive effects of walkable neighborhoods on health, environment, and economy.
Basic components of a walkable community include accessible sidewalks, footpaths, or other pedestrian rights-of-way, as well as efficient road and traffic systems, presence of trees and vegetation, frequency and variety of buildings, among others.
If people have ample space to walk on going from one place to another, can reach their destinations conveniently by foot, experts say such community is “walkable.”
Or as Steve Abley put it: “[Walkability is] the extent to which the built environment is friendly to the presence of people living, shopping, visiting, enjoying, or spending time in an area.”
Residents in walkable neighborhoods have better health than those living in places otherwise. In an article published on City Lab, Richard Florida wrote, “medical research shows walking can improve health outcomes, from heart disease and diabetes to improved mental and cognitive functions.”
High Walk Score (the walkability metric) has significant link to better cardio metabolic risk profiles and decreased risk of heart attacks. In fact, the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research both recommend that new developments should be designed to encourage walking.
Further, a study by the Alzheimer’s Disease Center of the University of Kansas also revealed that walkable cities have positive impacts on cognitive health.
With less need for automobiles in walkable communities, carbon emissions can also be reduced, which in turn improves health conditions and quality of life.
Economic benefits, meanwhile, include savings on transportation expenses. Walkability also affects housing costs, increasing property values, according to a study by John Gilderbloom, California Polytechnic State University, William Riggs, and Wesley Meares.
Positive impacts of walkability have influenced developers in creating convenient, green, and pedestrian-friendly spaces.
Here in Metro Manila, one example of a walkable community is located at the corner of Edsa and Shaw Boulevard.
Greenfield District features wide sidewalks, tree-lined walkways, and open spaces. Moreover, it was designed with great accessibility to major modes of public transport while paved pathways guide commuters to main thoroughfares so they can be on their way via the MRT stations and bus terminals.
The community offers a respite after a full day at school or at work, what with its wide selection of restaurants and other dining establishments peppered around the vicinity. The Hub, Pavilion, and The Portal, for instance, offer a variety of choices for dining and recreation.
Further, one-of-the-kind indoor sports adventure hubs Climb Central Manila and Trampoline Park provide fun and dynamic leisure activities.
The Greenfield District Central Park is home to events and activities like the Kaleidoscope where everyone can chill-out with good food and live music every Friday, unique food stalls and shops during The Greenfield Weekend Market, farm-to-table products at Urban Farm, and Sunset Fair every Sunday.
Because Greenfield District is tucked away from main thoroughfares, the roar of vehicles is pleasantly muffled, thus a quick stroll in the park becomes a daily therapeutic affair. To add to the simple sophistication of the township, the tree-lined roads and sidewalks are unencumbered by power lines as utilities and cabling have been installed underground.
The inviting environment, various establishments, accessibility, and green spaces encourage residents and visitors to explore the area by foot.