Does Physical Design Actually Promote Pedestrianism?

Pedestrian friendly design features of the built environment are the denominator to challenging the car culture in Southern California, changing the habits of residents is the numerator to the Pedestrianism equation. Changing the middleclass Southern California residents’ car culture mindset and making them walk more instead of drive requires each individual’s desire to be in public spaces over private spaces and the function-ability of walking instead. A presumed walkable community, Liberty Station, is designed to be more pedestrian friendly than a sprawling suburban community, such as the Point Loma suburbs. Liberty Station includes features that promote pedestrianism. Through survey research, interviews, and GIS analysis I performed an analysis of pedestrian activity in each of these communities and compared them to find that promoting pedestrianism through design is a successful approach encouraging people to walk instead of drive to obtain their daily needs so long as it is functional. Usually people’s preference to walk instead of drive to destinations change over time as the individual becomes more comfortable with being in public spaces rather than the privacy of their vehicle. Pedestrianism within communities is important for environmental, personal and community/social health. Pedestrian oriented communities are becoming more and more popular as time progresses and generations change.

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