Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Community Building Tip: Walkshed

For my current set of tips, I'm using the list "101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City.

41. Map a 40-minute walking circle around your house. Measure and draw a two-mile radius circle around your house to determine your "walkshed," the places you can easily walk. You’ll realize how many local amenities are closer than you think—most people can walk two miles in about 40 minutes—and you’ll be more likely to hoof it and support local businesses.

This would be a lot more useful if it focused on individual travel time, which we debated in last week's installment. How far can you comfortably travel from home in your typical human-powered manner? It doesn't matter whether that is on foot, wheelchair, bicycle, skateboard, etc. -- only that it is the distance you're willing to go for stuff in your own neighborhood. Is it 5 minutes, 10, 20, 40? The average walking speed of a human is 3 to 4 miles per hour, or 1 mile every 15 to 20 minutes, but some people travel much faster or slower, and it also varies by human-powered vehicle.  In any case, if you are comfortable traveling outside of a car, it is useful to map your locale and determine points of interest.
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