People and businesses benefit from shared streets and traffic calming.

A liveable community that encourages walking and cycling contributes to the local economy. For example:

“A $4.5 million investment in streetscape and pedestrian improvements on School Street in Lodi, California, helped to attract 60 new businesses, decreasing the vacancy rate from 18 to six percent and increasing downtown sales tax revenue by 30 percent. These findings contravene conventional wisdom about shopping being necessarily ‘heavily auto-oriented.”

And its not just about getting more customers through the door:

“Other studies revealed that a package of traffic-calming measures reduced the amount and the speed of traffic, and increased residential property values by around 20 percent.”

Often economic development practitioners focus on measures such as GDP or business turnover. Place-making activities and projects often address the fundamental needs of residents and, as it follows, visitor experiences:

“A community that encourages walking also attracts tourists. In Dunedin, surveys
indicate that for 80 percent of visitors, walking is the most popular activity.”

Note: Making a place good for tourism doesn’t mean its good for residents. Visitors come and go, residents have to… live here 🙂

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