What is Livability?
The concept of livability, which has evolved over the years, is often used to describe a range of initiatives aimed at improving community quality of life while supporting broader sustainability goals. Livability encompasses multi-dimensional issues relative to community design, land use, environmental protection and enhancement, mobility and accessibility, public health, and economic well-being. Incorporating livability into transportation planning, programs, and projects is not a new concept. Communities, developers, advocacy groups, businesses, and neighborhood residents have been working for generations to make places more livable through transportation initiatives, with varying degrees of support from local, regional, State, and Federal agencies. These initiatives have used a range of terms to describe an overlapping set of objectives and strategies—livability, sustainability, community impact assessment, scenario planning, land use and transportation, smart growth, walkable communities, new urbanism, healthy neighborhoods, active living, transit-oriented development (TOD), complete streets, context-sensitive solutions (CSS), and many others. While advocates for each approach or “brand name” might find differences, most transportation practitioners understand the key concept behind livability in transportation: transportation planning is a process that must consider broader community goals.
“The Role of FHWA Programs In Livability” FHWA Research Paper
The following links provide more information on Livable, Walkable, and Sustainable Communities:
- Walk Friendly Communities
- The National Complete Streets Coalition
- The Project for Public Spaces
- The Congress for the New Urbanism