Since ancient times, towns and cities throughout the world have been built so that residents could walk wherever they needed to go. Today we call them “walkable” communities. California in the 1950s changed this by introducing the first freeway. Eventually, most of the U.S. was built around cars and freeways — not people.

California’s slow return to building housing, shops and resources so that they are located in the same neighborhood has been going on for decades. Some of this is called “mixeduse” or “multi-use” construction. Underwood & Rosenblum, Inc. is fortunate to have provided civil engineering and surveying for many such projects.

Recently, interest in bringing back walkable communities has gained more momentum. Plans for such neighborhoods are becoming larger and more comprehensive. At the recent statewide Walk and Roll California conference, advocates and professionals in various fields focused on walkable communities. I presented the workshop entitled “New Developments in Re-engineering School Drop-off Zones to Keep Student Pedestrians Safer.”

It is time for California to take the lead once more. We can be an example for the rest of the country by bringing back walkable communities. Then we can look forward to the resulting return to stronger communities, increased safety, improved air, mental health and physical health.

U&R is proud to bring a long record of success in serving the creation of walkable communities. We provide the creative, more detailed civil engineering and surveying needed for such projects. We also enjoy developing plans for making communities more inviting for walkers.