What constitutes a ‘livable’ city?

Mitzi Baker, Blog Author

Livable communities are welcoming, inclusive, and diverse.   The transportation system is balanced, convenient, and safe for persons of all ages and abilities -where walking, biking, and transit are viable options for residents.  They have neighborhoods where persons of all income ranges can live, work, play, and socialize.  They are communities that value a strong education system which is supported by those with, and without, children in the schools.  These are places where the economically poor and disadvantaged can live healthy lives with hope and opportunity, along with those who are advantaged.  They offer outdoor spaces where people can connect with nature, recreate, and relax.  These communities are deliberate and adaptable, ready and willing to plan and implement strategies to be vibrant, healthy, inclusive and resilient.

The Planning profession takes care to develop, recommend, and implement strategies that contribute to quality of life; to prepare and plan for growth and adaptation while minimizing adverse impacts.   Locally, efforts of your Planning Department include addressing community needs for affordable housing, transportation options, open space, clean air and water, access to goods and services, including safe routes for walking and biking, as well as healthy and active community design.

Over the past six years, a great collaboration has emerged between local medical professionals, planners, and public health representatives to draw attention to the connections between community design, opportunities for healthy living, and public health outcomes. Together, we’ve been working to increase opportunities for walking, biking, and access to transit and to support policies and practices that help make the healthy choice the easy choice.

By working with other agencies, and with elected officials, and the community, we strive to provide expert professional recommendations to support a high quality of life in a healthy, vibrant, and resilient community.

Mitzi A. Baker, AICP is assistant planning director for the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department

Livable City is one of the seven areas of focus for DMC. Share ideas you have for making Rochester a more livable city by posting a comment below.