Why can't we build walkability?

 Historic townhouse neighborhoods, like this one in Washington, DC, are some of the most desirable walkable neighborhoods across the country-- but building them in Eugene is currently prohibited.

Historic townhouse neighborhoods, like this one in Washington, DC, are some of the most desirable walkable neighborhoods across the country-- but building them in Eugene is currently prohibited.

It hasn't just been market demand that has created a city of car-dependent neighborhoods. Zoning code written in the heyday of auto-centric development actively prevents the development of walkable neighborhoods and housing options. For example, the current Eugene code surrounding rowhouses forbids the development of the classic townhouse neighborhood, one of the more desirable forms of historic development across the country. While the South Willamette Special Area Zone starts to address these problems, federal loan and funding policies also put roadblocks in the way of smart development that builds on historically successful mixed-use patterns.

Demographic and consumer-preference changes over the last decade have created greater demand for walkable urban real estate in communities with mixed residential and commercial uses. New development has not served this demand because federal policies and practices discourage it.
— John Norquist, Strong Towns