Planning a Pedestrian-Friendly Community

In recent years, communities are rethinking their development strategies and growing smarter. Design professionals, public health experts, government officials, park and recreation professionals, land-use and transportation planners, environmentalists, and community residents are recognizing that there is an essential link between the design and health of a community.

Neo-traditional neighborhood design and smart-growth strategies are being implemented to mitigate the effects of sprawl, promote a sense of community, and encourage pedestrian-friendly design.

The state of Delaware supports smart-growth principles through the adoption of public policies that are intended to manage growth.  Among the goals sought by Delaware’s smart-growth legislation are preservation of open space and farmland, provision of multi-modal transportation options, mixed-use development directed towards existing communities, affordable and attractive housing opportunities, walkable neighborhoods, livable communities with a strong sense of place, compact building/infrastructure design, and conservation of natural, historic, scenic and environmental resources.

A key smart-growth principle is creating walkable communities that are attractive, convenient, safe, and healthy.  Walkability in Delaware is being enhanced through the adoption of mobility-friendly design standards that provide a broad set of design solutions to maximize opportunities for all people to move within and among communities independently and safely.  The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), the Transportation Management Association (TMA) of Delaware, Office of State Planning Coordination (OSPC), and the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration (IPA) have collaborated to build a foundation for development-design standards for statewide transportation infrastructure, based on the ten common “mobility-friendly” elements. This checklist can be used ensure that key mobility-friendly components are present in all developments.

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