The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of neighbourhoods and how they fare in terms of walkability and wheelability.
Neighbourhood walkability and wheelability are defined as the “measure of how well a neighbourhood fosters active forms of transportation.” Very walkable and wheelable neighbourhoods have built environments, or human-made surroundings, that support physical and social activity.
Built environment design features that characterize walkable and wheelable neighbourhoods can include sidewalks, curb cuts and pedestrian traffic signals. When appropriately constructed, these features can support inclusion and in many cases, neighbourhoods that are designed with this in mind are good for everyone.
Unfortunately, most neighbourhood built environments are not designed for everyone. They can in fact create exclusionary environments for people with disabilities and older adults.