Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities


6″ x 9″, softcover, 280 pages, Island Press.

SKU: CWWD01 Category:


In Within Walking Distance, journalist and urban critic Philip Langdon takes an in-depth look at six walkable communities — and the citizens, public officials, and planners who are making them satisfying places to live.

By considering many factors that affect walkability including safe comfortable streets; sociable sidewalks; how buildings connect to the public realm; bicycling; public transportation; housing; and the natural environment, Langdon provides a holistic view of walkable places in a very readable format.

The six communities vary by size, history, wealth, education, and more. They are: Center City Philadelphia; the East Rock section of New Haven, CT; Brattleboro, VT; the Little Village section of Chicago; the Pearl District in Portland, OR; and the Cotton District in Starkville, MS. From these places, Langdon draws lessons that can be applied to a wide range of communities.

Table of Contents


  1. Big City, Intimate Settings: Center City Philadelphia
  2. Creating Gathering Places: The East Rock Neighborhood, New Haven, Connecticut
  3. Keeping the Town Center Vital: Brattleboro, Vermont
  4. The Walkable Immigrant Neighborhood: Chicago’s “Little Village”
  5. Redeveloping with Pedestrians in Mind: The Pearl District, Portland, Oregon
  6. Patient Placemaking: The Cotton District, Starkville, Mississippi
  7. Conclusion: Toward Human-Scale Communities

About the Author

Philip Langdon was the editor for the New Urban News and a freelance journalist. His articles have been published widely including in Planning, Urban Land, Planning Commissioners Journal, Preservation, Governing, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, Landscape Architecture, CityLab, and the New York Times.


Read the Introduction


Within Walking Distance is guaranteed. If you are not 100% satisfied, you may return it within 30 days for a full refund.


“Hard to put down…the book is so rich in detail that I learned something useful or remarkable on nearly every page. Langdon is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable writers on urbanism today…The new urban era is upon us and Within Walking Distance may be the best guidebook to explore how people and places are making this period a reality.”
— Public Square

“Within Walking Distance shines…a warm, personal, and heartening depiction of our power to shape our communities in a positive way when we set our minds to it.”
— Civil Engineering