Livable, walkable street desgin with Reid Ewing (part 1)

livable, walkable streetpresented by SCC


Reid Ewing is professor of City and Metropolitan Planning and director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah. He has a pile of awards and has written a ton of books. If you happen to be familiar with Urban Land Institute or American Planning Assocation or Institute of Transportation Engineers, you’ve probably seen his name. Reid authored the US Traffic Calming Manual, and has some new work that I’m looking forward to hearing more about: one book on Pedestrian and Transit Oriented Design, and another called Measuring Urban Design Qualities.


What is livability? What is walkability?

Reid starts the conversation with definitions of two key terms. Don’t think of livable and walkable as buzzwords for big city planners. Reid talks about the application for any community.


Freedom of [modal] choice.

More than half of Americans say they want to walk more and drive less. People are trapped in their cars, often because street networks have little opportunity for safe passage outside a vehicle. Typical push-back to pedestrian-friendly street design sounds like this: “that’s nice people want to walk more, but we have road design standards that must be followed.” The implication is that what people want is not really practical.

How can we plan and design streets that meet people’s desire to walk more and drive less? How can we make the leap from fiscally irresponsible sprawl to smarter development patterns?


But wait, there’s more!

I know, I know…you’re loving Reid’s insights and you don’t appreciate that he was cut off at about half an hour. Don’t worry. Part 2 is coming next week!


Connect with our guest

A Google search for “Reid Ewing” will bring you to a certain celebrity son. So if you’re interested in Modern Family, that’s fine. But be sure to visit the University of Utah website to find out more about Reid’s work. His most recent book is available on Amazon.



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*** UPDATE *** Click here to listen to Part 2 of Andy’s discussion with Reid Ewing