Designing for Pedestrians

walking in cambridge

The pedestrian realm includes sidewalks, open space, courtyards, and walkways--mostly public space, but private spaces as well.

Because Cambridge was largely developed before the automobile was invented, much if it is built to a scale that accommodates people on foot. Almost all the streets include sidewalks. The sidewalks are the city’s largest and most important public space, important both for getting around and as the space where people encounter each other, where most of urban life takes place. The city’s squares are really crossroads rather than squares, but they contain some gathering space for pedestrians.

Cambridge has many parks and plazas. Its campuses offer miles of pleasant paths and open space. DCR’s Alewife Reservation is the city’s largest uncultivated landscape. Multiuse paths along the Charles River, as well as Linear Park, are both transportation links and recreational facilities.

Many of the major green spaces serve many purposes. Mount Auburn Cemetery is popular for walking and bird watching, and Fresh Pond Reservation holds the city’s drinking water and is heavily used by recreational walkers.

For More Information

For more information about pedestrian facilities and planning, contact the Environmental and Transportation Division at 617/349-4604.