Imagining a Walkable America
An inspiring and free online book imagining a low-carbon future for America's towns and cities
In a hoped-for future our collective carbon footprint from climate change will be much lower than it is today. But what will our towns and cities that produce that result look like? I’m pleased to announce the launch of a book that gives us a visual glimpse into that low-carbon future. Imagining a Walkable America is a free online book containing a selection of photo-simulations I’ve created depicting positive change to the built landscape. These are not depictions of grimly utilitarian, space-age modern, or lavish places; rather, these are doable, sensible, desirable visions of a world that could be.
In the post–World War II era, we allowed historic, walkable neighborhoods go to ruin and built new, sprawling places premised on universal car ownership—places where we don’t want our children walking, places that emit too much greenhouse gas. Imagining a Walkable America is a call for community development that takes America in a hopeful new direction. I created the images collaborating with some of the best urban designers and transportation planners in America. I hope you enjoy the book and show Imagining a Walkable America to anyone who needs visual assurance that a low-carbon future can be safe, attractive, and feasible.
Praise for Imagining a Walkable America:
[Imagining a Walkable America] should be required viewing by all Americans but most importantly, and I mean this, by every middle and high school kid in America . . . and the incoming Biden Administration. We need decent housing, downtowns, and streets that build community. There are many solutions to our absurd and lethal carbon footprint, epidemic depression, and inactivity, but you have illustrated so many humane and energizing ones.
—Dr. Richard Jackson, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, past Director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health
Friends, having been a strong advocate and believer in Steve's talent for 25+ years, you are in for a special treat when you open the pages of this inspirational digital book. Steve puts a vision to what we do, or wish to do. He stretches our imagination. As I present Steve's images to hundreds of audiences every year, people become electrified. Next to walking audits, there is nothing as powerful as Steve in our work. Nothing.
—Dan Burden, Director of Innovation and Inspiration at Blue Zones, White House recognized as one of top ten Champions of Change in Transportation