Americans Want Sidewalks, Energy Efficiency, Transit … And Are Willing to Do Something About It!

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Paul is communications director for Mobility Lab. He specializes in storytelling and editing, as well as environmental and pop-culture issues related to transportation.
June 14, 2012

This is such a great “infographic” created by the American Planning Association, to support its 2012 National Poll of American’s opinions on planning.

It’s nice to see that so many people realize planning, whether it’s urban or rural or anywhere in between, is and could be a crucial way for us to continue working our way out of the national economic recession. It doesn’t appear to be a terribly politicized issue, which is a good start.

Perhaps the most striking statistic is that 51 percent want to actually be involved – meaning getting their own hands dug into the dirt – in their community’s planning. That seems like a huge signal for community leaders to continue building volunteering efforts and job-creation programs geared toward economic and community development and improvement.

Highest priorities for community improvement include local businesses, aging in place, sidewalks, energy-efficient homes, transit, and parks.

These findings certainly mesh with the research Mobility Lab collaborated on for the 2009 Arlington County Commuter Services Green Study, including:

  • Three-quarters of all respondents said that public transportation is important in their decision to remain in Arlington.
  • Seventy-three percent of respondents described themselves as “environmentally responsible,” and while “living greener” was towards the bottom of the list in terms of importance in moving to and staying in Arlington among all respondents, those who were considered “Green” said that being able to live greener was a driver in moving to and staying in Arlington.

Our research increasingly shows that improved mobility, especially in walkable communities, may result in increased community connectivity and volunteerism.

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