Sarah Kobos has been a regular contributor for Strong Towns since 2016. She is an urban design nerd and community activist from Tulsa, OK. Her superpower is the ability to transform almost any topic into a conversation about zoning. Whenever possible, she explores other cities and writes about urban design and land use issues at AccidentalUrbanist.com.
Here are 8 small things you can do to make a place more inviting, productive and happy.
It’s easy to caricature people you don’t know or understand, and it can be satisfying in a superficial way. It’s much more difficult to accept that people are multidimensional, and what you know of one dimension may not represent the entire human being.
My plan was always to leave Oklahoma for lovely, liberal Portland. It didn’t work out that way, but I got something much better by hanging around.
If you don't get involved in the planning of your city, it will be planned for you. Much of it already has been.
It’s pretty easy to destroy a walkable place. We’ve been doing it for so long.
A neighborhood is an ecosystem, a quirky human habitat, and when it’s been damaged by generations of neglect, it probably needs help that has nothing to do with repairing roofs and bringing wiring up to code.
We’ve spent the better part of 70 years building our cities for cars, not people, and it shows. It’s time to make walkability a priority, not just a feel-good buzzword.
Once you get everyone pedaling, they become a team, unified by the excitement of riding together. Once everyone’s on a bike, all you see are smiles.
Our neighborhoods and our cities would improve if more of us lived in places where “bumping into someone on the street” didn’t involve heavy traffic and a fender bender.
For years, we’ve been told that big box parking lots need to be large enough to accommodate peak parking demand. Yet even on the biggest shopping day of the year, I found oceans of empty asphalt.
Whether you care about the environment, energy savings, property values, public health, or your city’s bottom line--plant a tree by the street. You’ll make sweaty cyclists and pedestrians happy for generations to come.
If we want incremental development that creates walkable places, while building local wealth and improving traditional neighborhoods, we need to make sure our zoning codes enable that vision.
Pick a problem that bugs you. Get informed and get involved. Be part of the solution. It will change your life. And it will change your city for the better.
It’s time to make walkability a priority, not just a feel-good buzzword.
Our neighborhoods, our cities, and our commitment to each other would improve if more of us lived in places where “bumping into someone on the street” doesn’t involve heavy traffic and a fender bender.
Why old ways of building are good for both the body and the bottom line.
Imagine living in a city where every restaurant is required by law to provide free chicken sandwiches. This would be absurd, right? Well, nearly every town in America does it. But they don’t require free sandwiches, they require something much more valuable: free parking.