- Listen to Ron's Interview with Dan Burden -
How ‘Walkability’ Creates Healthier, More Vital Communities
Over the last several years, a growing number of experts have been touting the health benefits of walking—especially as we get older, and need to find sustainable habits that keep us moving, fit and active. But while walking is certainly beneficial for individuals, the concept of walkability—that is, walkable communities—has become a cornerstone of forward-thinking urban planning. And it’s proving to have immense health, social and economic benefits for everyone. In today’s episode, we talk with Dan Burden, the nation’s most recognized expert on walkability, bicycle and pedestrian programs, who is the Director of Innovation and Inspiration for Blue Zones. Indeed, Dan has been innovating and inspiring people for more than 45 years, leading Time magazine to call him “one of the six most important civic innovators in the world.”
In today’s conversation, Dan will explain what walkability means, and how we can reshape our built environment—our roadways, sidewalks, bicycle lanes and other pathways—to create healthier, more prosperous, environmentally sustainable and vital communities.
He’ll describe specific ways we can create “complete streets” that serve the needs of automobile traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists—and ways we can all, as members of our communities, participate in the process. And you’ll learn how Dan employs his resolute “people-first approach” in helping the nation “get back on its feet.”
Dan Burden is the Director of Innovation and Inspiration for Blue Zones LLC. He is the nation’s most recognized authority on walkability and bikeability and is a pioneer in people-first urban planning. For 40 years, Dan has helped policymakers in over 3,500 cities around the country create healthier cities, one neighborhood at a time. He was named one of the “100 Most Influential Urbanists” of all time by Planetizen, an independent academic resource. His work at Blue Zones provides support to communities of all sizes throughout North America, especially in advancing active transportation, active living and other elements of the built and natural environments. He oversees the full range of community development, starting with visioning and strategic planning, through implementation and evaluation. Dan’s previous experience includes serving as Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute. His leadership in outdoor activities includes hiking, bicycling, caving, whitewater canoeing and kayaking.