Philly Shows How European-Style, Walkable Street Networks Are Possible in America

CityBeautiful explores what would it take to integrate networks of narrow, walkable streets into U.S. cities, using Philly's Quince Street as a model.

(Photo by Dan Mall / Unsplash)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

The reality is American cities will never be able to clone Europe’s iconic networks of charming, narrow, pedestrian-friendly streets. But there’s another alternative, says Dave Amos, Cal Poly city planning professor and Next City Vanguard alum, on his YouTube channel City Beautiful.

“What if we took the large blocks we find in U.S. cities and filled them up with narrow Euro-style streets only a few meters wide?” he asks. “I know that it sounds crazy, but I think it’s possible. I know because I’ve seen it firsthand.” He points to Philadelphia’s historic – and remarkably dense, parking-free – Quince Street block, which itself contains six small blocks within Philadelphia’s street grid.

In this video, CityBeautiful explores what would it take to integrate more such narrow, walkable streets into U.S. cities, from overcoming regulations on minimum street widths and parking minimums.

Follow CityBeautiful on YouTube and subscribe on Patreon to support the channel.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Aysha Khan is the managing editor at Next City.

Follow Aysha .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: inclusionary zoning

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1111 other sustainers such as:

  • Anonymous at $5/Year
  • Brian at $60/Year
  • Paul at $120/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉