Tag Archives: pedestrian propulsion

Idea of the Day: Pedestrian Propulsion

12 May

Have you ever noticed how a long walk feels much shorter when you’re in a densely-built urban area with a lot of other people on the street? Festivals or other events that create novel and rapidly-changing scenery around you can have the same effect. There’s a name for that: “Pedestrian propulsion.”

Areas that rank highly in pedestrian propulsion also have high rates of “compensation” – the visual and social payoff received in exchange for the time and energy required to walk.

That’s why it seems to take weeks to walk past a strip mall or just a block or two like this:

while walking somewhere interesting seems to take less time than it really does.

Speaking of pedestrian experiences, the vision for the “Midtown Mile” is being revamped. The idea of replicating a place like Chicago’s Miracle Mile is out the window, with planners now aiming for a area of shopping and restaurants that’s more everyday than special occasion. They hope to make it a constant draw for residents in and around midtown as well as the thousands office workers who come and go daily instead of a place mostly catering to tourists and the very well-off.

A similar re-think is afoot at the Streets of Buckhead project. The “Rodeo Drive of the South” concept, with high-dollar hotels, restaurants and boutiques intended to draw people from all over the region, is being toned down and will eventually even have a different name.

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