Walkable Environment Walkable environments are nowadays a big issue in Urban Planning. Walkable environments are neighborhoods where people can walk through from a particular activity place to another. This kind of neighborhood should have safely, comfort, distance and good facilitate as criteria.
Safety criteria are met when pathways and vehicle road are separate and designed with plant barriers. Enough lighting is also required to create a safe pathway.Comfortable requires a pathways design in which people in any condition can use the pathway, especially for the elderly and disabled people. Short distances are attracting people to walking rather than driving. When neighborhoods are designed with walkable distances, it takes little time to go to another spot in the same neighborhood. Neighborhoods that well facilitate for walking, encourage people to use them.
The facilities support the other criteria and fulfill the best design to meet the criteria for a walkable environment.On this technology era, cities are designed around with highways. Based on Andreas Duany phrase about highway engineer that want to make cars happy, Indonesia city’s design are not applying the walkable environment. For example, Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia which is design for the vehicle, has very large street but has no well facilitate pathways. A vehicle should be used for long distance only.
In Jakarta, people even more choose driving for lunch. This is a bad situation for city development which is results in traffic jam, pollution, and other city problems.Jakarta city should be redesign to be walkable environment, preferable starts from the downtown area.
Big and uncomfort road increase people to use vehicle such as cars, motorcycles and buses. Because of the wide road and awkward design for pathways, it is not safe and comfortable for walk and even more dangerous to cross. Long distance of blocks is reducing comfortable level. Furthermore, absence of particular design for pathway makes people unwilling to walk. Living in healthy, safe and comfortable place is basic human need.A walkable environment is designed to change city environment. The design goal are to reduce the gasoline consumed by people so that the pollution level could be lower and also reduce the vehicle volume to avoid street congestion.
In term to receive the goal and have better quality of life to live in Jakarta downtown, redesign by walkable environment criteria could be one of the best choices to implement. City is designed for people, not for the vehicle. The one that should be happy with city design is the people.