22 Aug '11, 2pm

The popsicle test, the Halloween test, and neighborhoods for kids

The popsicle test, the Halloween test, and neighborhoods for kids

In a recent post on his firm’s excellent blog, PlacesShakers and NewsMakers , Scott Doyon reminds us of the “popsicle test” of a well-designed neighborhood: if an 8-year-old kid can safely go somewhere to buy a popsicle, and get back home before it melts, chances are it’s a neighborhood that works. Note that there’s no planning jargon in there: nothing explicitly about mixed uses, or connected streets, or sidewalks, or traffic calming, or enough density to put eyes on the street. But, if you think about it, it’s all there. I’m also fond of the “Halloween test”: if it’s a good neighborhood for trick-or-treating , then it’s likely to be compact and walkable. My brother-in-law, who lives in a place that is anything but, drives his kids to the nearest traditional town center on Halloween. Quite a few parents seem to do the same thing by driving to my neighborhood. Scott puts i...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/the_popsicle_...

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