Planners are tasked with more than just designing, evaluating and planning transportation mediums – they are often asked to help us feel more comfortable with moving around our communities and feel a greater sense of “livability.” But how do we quantify “liveability?” What makes a place feel more “liveable?”
How we personally evaluate our community is in how it supports our daily life. Think about it – how often do you ask yourself something like:
- Do I want to drive that far for my job?
- Wouldn’t it be nice to walk the kids to school?
- Can I walk or bike to restaurants and grocery shopping?
- Do people get out of their houses and walk around in this neighborhood?
And we ask ourselves these questions because the ease of completing these tasks, how accessible we are to the things that impact our daily life is how we evaluate the livability of our communities.
So how do planners approach the seemingly gargantuan task of creating greater livability? Too often the focus is on simply moving vehicles quickly when we should really be asking ourselves: Why are the vehicles there to begin with? Where are they going? How do we get people to what they need more efficiently?