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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Making Walkability Fun

How to encourage more people to walk? Start a series of neighborhood walking tours led by kids.


A neighborhood designed for walking provides important health and environmental benefits to its residents, not to mention a greater sense of community. Yet many Cincinnati residents still turn to their cars to run even the shortest errands. How can cities encourage their neighborhoods to make walkability a priority? As part of GOOD Ideas for Cities Cincinnati, Scout Camp proposes a concept that they think will get more people walking and thinking about walkability: A series of neighborhood walking tours led by local kids. As the team surveyed pedestrian advocacy groups, they realized that most walkability campaigns were missing a crucial message: Walking is fun.

Capitalizing on the sense of adventure and discovery that the team remembered from exploring their own neighborhoods on foot as children, the tours would be curated and hosted by kids and feature some of their favorite places, like ice cream shops or a hidden creek. A reward system for tours would also allow kids to redeem "walking points" at local businesses. Plus, fostering a sense of ownership and pride in their neighborhoods would help ensure these kids become strong community leaders in the future.

Challenge: Walkability offers real benefits to our health, the environment, our communities, and our finances: Research shows increasing walkability can increase the value of residential and commercial real estate. How can we help our communities come together and make changes necessary to increase their local walkability?

Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation, Eric Avner; LISC, Kathy Schwab; Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, Mark Quarry

Scout Camp: Luke Field, Tina Sevilla Stear, Michael Bergman, Nick Dewald, Lindsay Dewald, Lann Brumlik Field, Eric Stear, Will Yokel

On Foot Cincy: Connect with them at @OnFootCincy on Twitter, at their Tumblr or by emailing onfootcincy[at]gmail[dot]com

Video by The Queen City Project

Additional support provided by the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation

GOOD Ideas for Cities pairs creative problem-solvers with real urban challenges proposed by civic leaders. To learn more visit Watch more videos of recent GOOD Ideas for Cities events, and if you'd like to talk about bringing the program to your city or school, email alissa[at]goodinc[dot]com or follow us at @IdeasforCities

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