People PlacesPeople Places Cases

These are examples, lists, links to case studies, and personal accounts of places that have characteristics of people-oriented places. After all, my People Places site promises information about people-oriented places. Readers should ask: Where are they? Show me the city!

Well, the real world is not like theory. In truth, there are very few places in the world where human beings are given precedence over automobiles and where urban planning and architecture are designed around people as opposed to functions.

In choosing a place, seek to find places which are more people-friendly or are pursuing policies that integrate multi-modal transit and mixed use developments into planning.


  • "Best Places to Live" lists. I'm skeptical about "best places to live" rankings because they place an assumed value on things like climate, cultural attractions, sports teams, and other amenities of a place. Everyone wants and values different things, so you shouldn't take any of these best places rankings as absolute, unless you strongly agree with the values placed on the ranked items. Beware of places that place an undue emphasis on warm climates as the "best" place to live--you have to truly consider if you want to be inside most of the year needing air-conditioning. Also, many "best places to live" lists automatically discriminate against racial diversity.

    Cities / Neighborhoods

    These are specific cities and projects within cities that support various ideals of people-oriented places. Many are oriented toward ecologically-sound, sustainable development. Others are oriented toward New Urbanism ideals.

    Home Zones
    A home zone is a pedestrian and cyclist-oriented group of streets where motorists are encouraged, through traffic calming and other features, to drive safely. This site includes a directory of home zones in the United Kingdom.
    Global Ecovillage Network
    Network of ecovillages with emphasis on ecologically, economically, and culturally sustainable future. Includes a directory of ecovillages. A subset network, Urban Ecovillage Network, has an urban emphasis.


    On the opening page of People Places, I switch out various photos that visually capture what I mean by "people-oriented places." These are places that I've visited and really enjoyed. Click the thumbnail photo for a bit larger image.

    Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA. An urban park can be a vibrant, interesting place with activities oriented around music, art, gardens, sculpture, skyline admiring, walking, food, and people watching. (See more photos.)

    State Street, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. This street serves as the main cultural axis of the capital city of Wisconsin and shows how a bus-only street can operate (cars do cross State Street at intersections) with a canopy of trees, cafes, restaurants, stores, and cultural centers. Unfortunately, panhandlers exploit this public space and harass pedestrians. (See more photos.)

    Graben Strasse, Vienna, Austria. In the pedestrian streets near Saint Stephan's, transit stations below support pedestrian-only streets above with cafes, shops, people, balloons, and dogs. This is a touristy section of the city, but it shows what a pedestrian-only area supported by underground transit looks like and how people do enjoy it. And the Trzesniewski sandwiches around the corner!

    Personal Experience

    I'd like to list here articles or links to articles in which people describe experiences about where they live and how it supports people-orientation.

    I'm working on an article about how I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin without a car
    I will include practical issues, using the transit system, shopping, and how my neighborhood supports walkability.
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    2024-06-04 · John December · Terms ©