Traditionally, through thousands of years of human settlement, urban streets have performed multiple functions. Mobility was one of the functions, but economic and social purposes were important as well. Retail and social transactions have occurred along most urban thoroughfares throughout history. It is only in the 20th century that streets were designed solely for mobility. Designing streets primarily for cars has led to unsafe roadways and a loss of the economic and social value of the street.

Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach is intended to help restore the social and economic functions of the urban street. The manual provides guidance for how to design boulevards, avenues, and streets in urban areas. Streets should allow for multiple modes of transportation as well as a safe, comfortable, and attractive environment for people. It was created through a partnership between Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and the Institute for Transportation Engineers. Since its release in 2010, the manual remains the most thorough guide for planning and designing great urban streets.

Click here to learn more about the manual.

Read more about how the manual is gaining traction in the professional engineering community.

Read our success stories to see how urban communities have transformed their streets by adopting CNU’s recommended practices.

Click here to learn how your community can work toward adopting the manual.