Land Use and Walkability Pico Rivera, California

Essay 4. Land Use and Walkability for PICO RIVERA, CALIFORNIA

The land uses allowed in different areas of a city significantly influence how neighbor-hoods look like and the amenities their residents can walk to. Among others, land uses include single-family residential, multi-family residential, commercial, and open space. Walkability, intended as the possibility to walk to places like grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and parks, is often included among the indicators of quality of life. In this paper, you will discuss how land use in the neighborhood where you live affects, positively or negatively, walkability to a few key amenities. Particularly, you will discuss the following:

– Background about the neighborhood. In which city it is located and what are its most notable characteristic (landmarks, proximity to light rail, freeways, etc.).

– Zoning. Find the zoning map and zoning code for the area around where you live. The zoning map will identify the zoning district (e.g. R-1 Single Family Residential), while the code will give you details about what is allowed in that zone. Which is the prevalent land use in the area where you live? Which uses are allowed?

• Include a snapshot of the zoning map in your neighborhood

– Access to amenities. Use Google Maps, present the distances between your house and some basic amenities. How far do you live from the closest commercial street, grocery store, coffee shop, and park? How do numeric distances translate into walking times?

– Influence of land use on walkability. Given the distances identified above, discuss how land use in your neighborhood influences walkability around where you live:

• Are amenities close enough to walk?

• How do you think zoning influenced distances between your home and the closest amenities? (discuss the separation of land uses vs. mixed land uses)

– Land use change. Discuss how you would change zoning in your neighborhood to make your neighborhood more walkable. Suggest changes to:

• The zoning map (e.g. rezoning a certain area to a new district, e.g. mixed use)

• AND the zoning code (e.g. allowing additional uses or building types in certain zoning districts)


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