The Trick-or-Treat Test

Have you wondered if a neighborhood is walkable? Or, perhaps you have wondered what it even means to define a street, neighborhood, or city as walkable. Here is a dead simple test that will point you toward an answer.

Walkability has ascended to become a top-tier buzz word among urban planners in recent years. Yet, in spite of many efforts, there is no clear, consensus on how to measure a place’s walkability. (A google search yields methods proposed by advocacy groups, the private sector, and academics¬†over the past decade.)¬†

I propose that truly walkable neighborhoods are those that attract kids on Halloween. (This definition will not work in places that do not celebrate Halloween in the American tradition.) Here’s why.

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