Does Your Neighborhood Pass the Trick-or-Treat Test?

Does Your Neighborhood Pass the Trick-or-Treat Test?

Regina Yunghans
Oct 7, 2014
(Image credit: Steven Depolo under CC BY 2.0)

Every neighborhood I've lived in has rocked it out when it comes to Halloween. Each place feels like it was made for this time of the year and especially for trick-or-treating on Halloween night. First Brooklyn Heights, then Westmount in Montreal, and now West Hills in Lawrence, Kansas. All of these neighborhoods happen to be great places to trick-or-treat. And according to the trick-or-treat test, that means they're quite likely examples of good urban design:

Within the urban design field, the trick-or-treat test is an informal way of gauging whether an area has the characteristics vital to good, livable, healthy communities:

  • Walkability
  • Reasonable density
  • Good visibility between the street and residences
  • A street life devoted to those on foot over those in automobiles.

Routinely, neighborhoods that make for good trick-or-treating make for good places to live in general.

When you're out in a few weeks, see if your neighborhood passes the test. And observe the most popular places to trick-or-treat in your city. Are they popular because of their good urban design? Chances are that design has more to do with their Halloween night success than the loot being passed out on the doorsteps!

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