WIT Press

Is The Pedestrian City Relevant To The Sustainable City? Mobility, Urbanization And Health


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K. Maikov & M. Pihlak


For the past one hundred years American style automobile oriented urban development has swept the world. Estonia has adopted free market capitalism and is on the verge of adopting American style automobile dominated development patterns. The tradition of Nordic style planning has ameliorated the American style automobile domination. Small town Pennsylvania, USA as exemplified by the college town of State College, PA is still firmly in the grip of the traffic oriented transportation planner. The big city innovations of pedestrian priority areas and new urbanism have not penetrated to the American hinterlands. Keywords: pedestrian, walking, urban design, obesity, Estonia, sidewalks, Pennsylvania, Toronto. 1 Introduction The automobile domination of the American City is almost complete (Kuntsler [1–3], Holtz Kay [4]). Post soviet era Estonia is producing similar automobile dominated suburban commercial landscapes. This automobile oriented development pattern is so destructive of traditional urban form that in the United States special national planning initiations are necessary to ensure that children will be able to walk to neighbourhood schools (Safe Routes to School). Safe Routes to Schools is a popular program spreading across Canada and the U.S. designed to decrease traffic and pollution and increase the health of children and the community. The program promotes walking and biking to school through education and incentives [5].


pedestrian, walking, urban design, obesity, Estonia, sidewalks, Pennsylvania, Toronto.