A down-to-Earth approach to great neighborhoods
Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form captures the aspirations of urbanism today.
Subscriber? Log in for full article. Not a subscriber yet? Subscribe to read all articles (print + online delivery) about how to implement better cities and towns. Or, get the January-February 2013 issue (instant pdf download).
In 2007, Julie Campoli coathored a book called Visualizing Density with pilot and photographer Alex MacLean. Published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Visualizing Density helped make the case for dense, compact, communities — exclusively from a bird’s eye perspective. Philip Langdon’s review in New Urban News, while mostly positive, faulted the book for sticking to aerial photos. “The Lincoln Institute is kidding itself if it thinks that people can distinguish good development from bad mostly by peering down from the sky,” he said.
Not to worry. Campoli has produced a visually stunning book that is photographed entirely from ground level — and the result is successful and fresh, distinct and absorbing. I’ve pored through scores of books on urban design that make similar points on walkability and urban design. I couldn’t put Made for Walking down. My to-do list had to wait.
Made for Walking starts by mapping the daily lives of three families: the first living in a distant suburb, the second in a closer-in suburb, and the third in a transit-oriented neighborhood. The impact of density on travel distance and access is dramatic. Two short chapters then deal with principles and details of walkable neighborhoods — these