Livability Fact Sheets PDF Files (produced in partnership with AARP)

The Livability Fact Sheets: Complete Collection

(English / Espanol)

The WALC Institute team is honored to share the Livability Fact Sheets that we partnered with AARP to develop. These fact sheets received an "Award of Distinction" from the Center for Plain Language's ClearMark Awards program in 2015.

A package of comprehensive, easy-to-read livability resources, these 11 myth-busting fact sheets can be used by community leaders, policy makers, resident advocates and others to learn about and explain what makes a city, town or neighborhood a great place for people of all ages.   Below you will find the collections in both their entirety and individual topics. 

Please click on the links, available in both English and Spanish, under each topic. 

Bicycling Fact Sheet

(English / Espanol)

Half of all trips taken in the United States are three miles or less, yet most Americans drive — even to the closest destinations. Only 3 percent of commuting trips in the U.S. are by bicycle, compared to up to 60 percent in The Netherlands. To read more, please click on the appropriate link below.


Density Fact Sheet

(English / Espanol)

When the housing market imploded in the late 2000s, the neighborhoods that held their property values the best were those with a mix of land uses - housing, retail, restaurants and office space - all located within a walkable core. To read more, please click on the appropriate link below.


Economic Development Fact Sheet

(English / Espanol)

First, the bad news.

If public transit and community walkabilty continue to take a back seat to vehicle-only transportation systems, total U.S. costs resulting from obesity may be as high as $957 billion by 2030. The price of poor air quality due to transportation-generated pollution is predicted to come in between $50 billion and $80 billion per year.


Form-Based Code Fact Sheet

(English / Espanol)

Smart zoning and land use codes are the foundation upon which great communities are built.

The use of zoning regulations began in the early 20th century in response to urban overcrowding and the intrusion of heavy industry into residential and retail areas. Communities chose to address the problem by separating incompatible uses and limiting residential density.1 Those efforts shaped the form of the built environment in unintended and occasionally unwanted ways. To read more, please click on the appropriate link below.


Modern Roundabouts Fact Sheet

(English Espanol)

Every day in the U.S. more than 20 people are killed at traffic intersections, and many more are seriously injured.1

Roundabouts — circular intersections that move traffic counterclockwise around a central island — can help reduce these deaths and injuries. Modern roundabouts are calmer and safer than conventional intersections and have been deemed a “proven safety counter-measure” by the U.S. Department of Transportation. To read more, please click on the appropriate link below.


Parking Fact Sheet

(English Espanol)

Parking a car in the United States is pricey however you choose to look at it.

Cars sit unused 95 percent of the time, and although motorists park for free in 99 percent of the places they go, the costs for the parking is being incurred by businesses and government. In three out of 10 car rides to nearby destinations, studies show that drivers spend three to eight minutes looking for a parking spot.  To read more, please click on the appropriate link below.


Revitalization Without Displacement Fact Sheet

(English / Espanol)

As communities throughout the United States are redeveloped to become more walkable and livable, the efforts risk displacing an area’s current, often longtime residents and businesses. To read more, please click on the appropriate link below.


Road Diets Fact Sheet

(English / Espanol)

Most drivers base their travel speed on what feels comfortable given the street design. The wider the road, the faster people tend to drive and, the faster the car, the more severe the injuries resulting from a crash. To read more, please click on the appropriate link below.


Sidewalks Fact Sheet

(English Espanol)

Sidewalks play a vital role in community life. As conduits for pedestrian movement and access, they enhance connectivity and promote walking. As public spaces, sidewalks are the front steps to a community, activating streets both socially and economically. To read more, please click on the appropriate link below.


Street Trees Fact Sheet

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now,” says a wise Chinese proverb. In a neighborhood setting, street trees provide shade, safety, greenery, storm mitigation, energy savings, fresh air and
a haven for songbirds and squirrels. Trees visually screen concrete and utility poles and quiet street noise. To read more, please click on the appropriate link below.

(English / Espanol)


Traffic Calming Fact Sheet

(English / Espanol)

Since the advent of the automobile, most streets in the U.S. have been designed primarily for cars — fast-moving cars. Streets and parking now take up 25 to 50 percent of all public space in cities. 

For additional resources and tools from other organizations, subscribe to our newsletter and visit our Walkability in the News page.