How Does Placemaking Pay?

Hazel Borys compiles an extraordinary list of studies quantifying the role of livable, walkable places in building equity, city coffers, health, and social capital.

Need that elevator soundbite that ties urban design and zoning reform to outcomes on some particular subject? Check out this compilation of studies from a variety of sources that add numbers to placemaking. Hazel Borys notes:

"When we updated and republished the Codes Study last week, I was deeply encouraged by all of you who expressed support. I enjoyed the exchanges regarding this group of towns and cities that are using character-based land use laws to guide proactive, locally-driven efforts to improve quality-of-life and become more economically competitive."

"Others of you were asking for insights for how to get this change rolling at home, looking for value capture. Many reports quantify the value of the sorts of livable, walkable places that a form-based code generates. Here is a selection of studies that help make the case for walkability."

She goes on to group studies and their outcomes under the general topics of:

  • Building Equity: Commercial and Home Values
  • Building City Coffers: Increased Tax Base and Decreased Costs
  • Building Health: Cycling and Walking
  • Building Connections: Social Capital
  • Building Supply: Market Preference
  • Decreasing Emissions: VMT and Gas Pump Bills

Thanks to Scott Doyon

Full Story: Places that Pay: Benefits of Placemaking


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."