Creating walkable cities

social entrepreneurs matt tomasulo

Walk [Your City], as the name suggests, wants people to showcase just how walkable their city is.

It's the brainchild of Matt Tomasulo, an urban designer and activist.

"A big obstacle to walking is this perceived barrier of a destination being 'too far,' when in fact it is a walkable distance," said Tomasulo.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Tomasulo launched the business in November 2013. It sells customizable signs that say things like, "It's a 12-minute walk to downtown" or, "It's a 5-minute walk to the library." Anyone can order the signs online; Walk [Your City] makes and ships them for $20 to $60, depending on the material.

"We make them from corrugated plastic or aluminum, which is more expensive," Tomasulo said, adding that people should check with the authorities before hanging them in public places.

Over 5,000 signs have been made and installed in cities like Santa Fe, N.M., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Atlantic Beach, N.C.

"We've been pretty overwhelmed," said Tomasulo, who also inked a partnership with health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

He hopes his efforts will promote a walking culture and "amp up interest from cities to invest in infrastructure that supports a healthier lifestyle."

Related: America's most sprawling cities

First published May 22, 2015: 1:40 PM ET

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