Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Critics don't know walkable

Many new subdivisions are pleasant places for an evening stroll.

Today was possibly the warmest day of year. It hit at least 22-degrees centigrade. Nice.

I live in a rapidly expanding area of London. New homes are springing up like proverbial weeds. Originally the area where this picture was taken was going to be London's first foray into new urbanism. The plan collapsed.

The little community centre with traditional shopping, that the local paper had claimed was so important to the area's success, mutated into a common neighbourhood shopping centre. It is just where you'd expect it, at a nearby major intersection. Although one could walk to shop, and some folk do, most people drive. No surprise here, unless you are a believer in new urbanist myths.

Londoners want walkable neighbourhoods and the suburban developments are not answering that need, or so the local paper is always telling its readers. I'm flummoxed. Why do they say such stuff when reality so clearly is proving these claims wrong?

The new neighbourhood streets had lots of people out strolling, enjoying the warm spring evening. Young couples were everywhere, some with children and some without. New streets, new homes, new dreams. A few of the young people living here today will still be living here when they retire, I'd bet on it. This is a neighbourhood.

What the critics don't seem to understand is that give people a safe, clean street, lined with good housing and people will walk. In the short time I was taking pictures, I said hello and got smiles from half a dozen area residents. Yes, this is a neighbourhood, and a good one.

No comments: