City Planning orange beach road before remake

Published on July 18th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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Walkable & Livable Communities Institute {Green NGO Highlighted}

There are so many great non-profit organizations (aka non-governmental organizations or NGOs) out there that I decided to start a series illuminating the important work of some of these excellent groups. The first one I’m highlighting is one a friend recently directed me towards — the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute.

I’ve actually been somewhat familiar with the institute for years, since I was a graduate student in city and regional planning at UNC-Chapel Hill, but not working in that field any more, it’s nice to run across such efforts in my professional blogging career.

Potential for a road remake in Orange Beach, Alabama

Vision for a road remake in Orange Beach, Alabama

First of all, why “walkable” communities?

Walkable communities are useful and even needed for a number of reasons:

  1. walking is about 20 times more efficient than driving (though, less efficient than bicycling) and we need to use the most efficient modes of transport possible these days to cut our global warming pollution (and, thus, protect our health and potential for future life on earth, not to mention save money);
  2. walkable communities are more united, friendly communities;
  3. a large % of the population can’t drive (i.e. the aging, children, and some disabled people) — making communities walkable makes them more livable for such people and prevents isolation;
  4. walkable communities are better for our health, both because they get us exercising a little more and they reduce harmful air and water pollution.

Now, what’s the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute?

It is a non-profit working around the nation to help create such communities, not from scratch but by supporting existing communities and helping empower them to transform for the better.

Here’s more from the organization’s page:

The Institute’s mission is to inspire, teach, connect and support communities in their efforts to improve health and well-being through better built environments.

  • We inspire by helping communities envision a better future, by sharing examples and success stories and by displaying a personal commitment to the movement.
  • We teach the benefits of walkability and livability, best practices in designing for active transportation and strategies for successful civic engagement and implementation.
  • We connect community members and leaders to important resources, engage them in the process, and help them communicate with each other.
  • We support with ongoing guidance, educational materials and by celebrating successes widely.

The Institute was formed for charitable, educational and scientific purposes to help communities address the negative effects of the built environment on health, safety, social welfare, economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and overall quality of life.

Learn more and get involved here: Walkable and Livable Communities Institute.

You can also like and explore its Facebook page.

Related Stories:

  1. 11 Most Walk-Friendly U.S. Cities
  2. 10 Most Walkable Cities in World? [SLIDESHOW]
  3. 7- to 14-Year-Olds Get Chance to Design Their “Dream Streets” in UK

Images and captions via Walkable and Livable Communities Institute




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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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