As the urban cities or for that matter even the smaller towns and cities of India, continue to reel under the growing pressure of increased co-habitants, it is natural for us to seek some solace away from the hustle and bustle. We often hear of people searching for accommodation away from the city centres. Even the real estate companies have started enticing home investors to green, sprawling areas within the gated society of course.
Even our markets are overcrowded and to add to our woes, there is so much of vehicular pollution and noise, that one may feel like avoiding going to the market or stepping out of the home. Parking hassle is another big issue.
So, is there a solution? What if you have a neighbourhood market or streets which are pedestrian-friendly minus the vehicles. Will you opt for investment in such residential localities? A big market layout where no cars are allowed inside the premise, no matter you are a shop owner or a casual visitor. It is a car-free superblock and a step away from the car-centric world.
Making a city more walkable has many merits. It changes the complete city layout, making it appear seamless and more liveable, giving it a stronger identity. It results in boosting investment in an area because there is a joyrful reason to live here. It results in a creating a vibrant, new societal eco-system, where public spaces, roads and the complete infrastructure is utilised in an optimum way.
If you wish to know why walkable streets matter, then have a look below:
- Pedestrian friendly streets mean less chaos. It is less disturbing and chaotic in every sense of living a peaceful like. It gives you the space to walk around, a lot, to reach the neighbourhood market for example and say good bye to toying your vehicle around all the time. It is so refreshing to stop driving a car and be able to walk again.
- It reduces the risk of pedestrian accidents. A vivid street design and road safety measures can reduce speed, thereby reducing the risk of road accidents or crashes around the area.
- It makes the neighbourhood more energetic and liveable. More walkable the streets, more people will be seen around spending time at leisure and patience, a big plus for bringing vibrancy back to life on roads. It also makes you feel responsible for maintaining the public property with a sense of personal pride
- It makes the area more accessible. Not everyone knows how to drive and even if they do, it is not always a promising idea to be driving the full day. Because it does not allow you to enjoy the place or soak in the place. Designing pedestrian infrastructure makes it convenient for people who are less mobile.
- It encourages social interaction and community connectivity. We have so many societies attached to each other in each area, but how much do we really know of our neighbours? Walkable streets mean more facial recognition and interaction among various groups of people, while people continue to do their daily chores in comfort.
- It helps the local business and economy. People often step out of home to shop or walk around the market area for a pleasant evening out. They also save money by not burning fuel all the time. It encourages more investment in the area, thus giving a new meaning to shopping and saving together.
- It improves your health considerably. Pollution-free zone, more walks, friendly neighbourhood interaction, beautiful surroundings, etc, reduces stress and adds to the quality of everyday living style and ambiance.
- It results in improved public investment and development. The security installation including the CCTVs to monitor life on the walkable streets is an investment in the liveable sustainability and reducing crimes.
Why walkable streets or earmarked zones should not be integral or top priority for urban development? It definitely offers a great opportunity to re-route the relevance of growth in real estate sector, where neighborhoods become safer, more accessible and, the property values rises.