Pedestrian- and Transit-Oriented Design

By Reid Ewing, Keith Bartholomew

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If you like walkable communities, take one step forward — and join the crowd. More than half of Americans say they'd rather drive less and walk more. As boomers age and gas prices rise, demand for walkable neighborhoods keeps climbing.

This practical guide shows how to make the leap from urban sprawl to smart growth. It walks readers through a detailed checklist of pedestrian- and transit-friendly features, from short blocks and safe crossings to street grids and special paving. Abundant photographs capture dos and don'ts from cities and towns across the country. Passages from existing city codes give planners a head start on making their own communities more accessible on foot and by transit.

Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design turns a half-century of urban design theory into step-by-step directions for creating walkable cities. It's must reading for planners, planning commissioners, city council members, developers, and citizens who want to put their communities on the path to a healthier future.

About the Authors

Reid Ewing is professor of City and Metropolitan Planning and director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah. His publications include Best Development Practices and U.S. Traffic Calming Manual from APA Planners Press as well as Developing Successful New Communities.

Keith Bartholomew is an environmental lawyer also on the University of Utah's City and Metropolitan Planning faculty. The coauthors earlier collaborated on Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change.

Both authors have written extensively for the Journal of the American Planning Association, where Ewing serves on the editorial board.

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Jan. 1, 2013
Urban Land Institute and APA Planners Press

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Urban Design Qualities

Chapter 3: A Checklist of Essential Features
(1) Medium-to-High Densities
(2) Mix of Land Uses
(3) Short-to-Medium Length Blocks
(4) Transit Routes Every Half-Mile Maximum
(5) Two- to Four-Lane Streets (with Rare Exceptions)
(6) Continuous Sidewalks Wide Enough for Couples
(7) Safe Crossings
(8) Appropriate Buffering from Traffic
(9) Street-Oriented Buildings
(10) Comfortable and Safe Places to Wait

Chapter 4: A Checklist of Highly Desirable Features
(1) Supportive Commercial Uses
(2) Grid-like Street Networks
(3) Traffic Calming
(4) Closely Spaced Shade Trees
(5) Not Much "Dead" Space (or Visible Parking)
(6) Nearby Parks and Other Public Spaces
(7) Small-Scale Buildings (or Articulated Larger Ones)
(8) Pedestrian-Scale Lighting
(9) Classy Looking Transit Facilities

Chapter 5: A Checklist of Nice Additions
(1) Landmarks
(2) "Street Walls"
(3) Functional Street Furniture
(4) Coherent, Small-Scale Signage
(5) Special Paving
(6) Public Art
(7) Water Features
(8) Outdoor Dining
(9) Underground Utilities

Chapter 6: Conclusion

Appendix A: What the Travel Literature Tells Us
Appendix B: What the Visual Preference Literature Tells Us
Appendix C: What the Hedonic Price Literature Tells Us
Appendix D: What the Traffic Safety Literature Tells Us
Appendix E: What TOD Manuals Tell Us


"Ewing and Bartholomew have delivered an accessible and highly readable guidebook ... [The book's] checklists are helpful to practitioners — planners, engineers, urban designers, and others — but will also provide a useful reference for planning commissioners, elected officials, and advocates for these places. Readers also benefit from the concise writing and extensive use of lists, tables, photographs, and illustrations to make points... With its attention to the little details and examples from contemporary practice, this book offers very useful guidance for how to make places work for transit and pedestrians.
— Whit Blanton, FAICP, founding principal, Renaissance Planning Group; full review in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Autumn 2013