Complete and Healthy Streets

Authored by: Lawrence Frank , Jared Ulmer , Bruce Appleyard , Alexander Bigazzi

The New Companion to Urban Design

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138302129
eBook ISBN: 9780203731932
Adobe ISBN:


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Complete Streets accommodate all travelers and modes of travel. They typically include high-quality sidewalks and bicycle facilities, access to public transit, and features to calm motor vehicles. They also often include seating, lighting, and vegetation, and provide surveillance or “eyes on the street” from adjacent land uses. This chapter summarizes published evidence of the health-related impacts of complete street elements. Complete Streets elements are strongly associated with increased physical activity, while some studies also document safety benefits as well. However, only a few studies have documented causal health and safety benefits of Complete Streets strategies. Few studies have linked complete streets with mental and social outcomes, and the literature on seniors, youth, and persons with disabilities is lacking. The effectiveness of Complete Streets strategies at promoting health and safety is context-dependent and requires prioritizing accessibility, ensuring safety, and enhancing the street experience.

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