Yesterday after I finished an interview for work I walked through downtown. It was late afternoon and the entire area was filled with kids trick-or-treating.
Seeing all these families out reminded me of Tuesday’s post about the “trick-or-treat test,” the importance of “door density,” and how great neighborhoods are good for kids and everyone else.
Most of these kids probably went back and trick-or-treated in their own neighborhoods, but they also came downtown for a reason: in the end, it’s a good place for trick-or-treating because it’s a pretty well designed place. There are big sidewalks, beautiful buildings, and trees. Blocks have extra cross walks. Cars can’t drive faster than 15 mph. And buildings are close to the street.
And seeing all of this made me wonder: why aren’t we building neighborhoods that look more like downtown? Sure, every street can’t be lined with stores, and downtown itself is likely to get some improvements soon. But regardless, people like it. Everyone I know who comes to Provo comments on it. And though it may not always be the liveliest place in the world, it’s probably the liveliest place in Provo, or Utah Valley for that matter.
The point here is that all of those elements I mentioned above could easily be incorporated into residential neighborhoods. Houses can be beautiful and located close to the street. Residential streets can also have low speed limits and frequent cross walks. And in the end, more neighborhoods should have many of the elements that everyone loves in downtown.