To make a city livable requires boots on the ground, quite literally. Vibrant cities are organized around pedestrian traffic, not streets.

Driving a car is a Point A to Point B proposition. Once you get behind the wheel, you're focused on your destination: how long it will take to get there, the route you're planning to take, and whether or not you'll be on time. That's quite a different proposition from traveling on foot. Traveling a step at a time puts you in very real contact with your surroundings, every step of the way.

That's the primary reason that urban planners are paying more attention to pedestrian traffic these days. Walking involves constant engagement with your surroundings and tends to produce greater involvement with street level opportunities. In some ways, it's a return to the way cities were in the early twentieth century: a development that is gaining wide acceptance and approval as a new wave of urban dwellers returns to the central city.