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Abstract: Many urban neighborhoods, even some which are dense and have mixed
uses, do not offer good accessibility, safety, comfort, or pleasure for pedestrians. This
thesis explores physical interventions for improving walkability in one such neighborhood,
Somerville's Gilman Square. The broader goal of walkability interventions is to offer
healthier and more livable conditions for residents, ... read moreand to facilitate a process of
democratizing the streets. My proposal is based on field observation, photography, GIS
maps, input from Gilman Square residents, and a literature review about the benefits and
motivations to walk and strategies for improving walkability. I make two major
recommendations: to improve the current conditions of the streetscape, and to make existing
destinations more attractive to walk to. These recommendations serve the Community Corridor
Planning (CCP), a coalition of organizations with the common goal of making `a better
Somerville for all,' so that they can build an agenda for improving public
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Urban and Environmental Policy and
Advisor: Julian Agyeman.
Committee: Barbara Parmenter.
Keywords: Urban planning, and Environmental health.read less