Walkable Neighborhoods Set the Stage for Upward Mobility, Study Says

New research out of the University of Virginia makes the case for walkable neighborhoods as incubators of economic mobility.

November 11, 2019, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Chelsea

Page Light Studios / Shutterstock

"New research from the University of Virginia finds children who are raised in walkable cities are more likely to climb the economic ladder, earning more than their parents did at similar points in their lives," reports Jane Kelly.

The study, "The Socioecological Psychology of Upward Mobility," was published in the journal American Psychologist.

According to the study, feelings of connectedness are a predictor of upward mobility. Nicholas Buttrick, one of the authors of the study, is quoted in the article: "We also find that if you live in a walkable city, you feel like you belong," Buttrick said. "You feel like you have a community, and that feeling also predicts whether or not you’re going to be moving up the economic ladder."

The researchers are planning to shift their focus next to the upward mobility enabled by public transit—some evidence of that outcome is already available.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 in University of Virginia

A conceptual rendering of three high-speed rail trains. The middle train is orange; the other two are black.

The California High-Speed Rail Project Illustrates America’s Transit Issues

Slow progress and a bloated budget have plagued the High-Speed Rail project linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, exposing deeper issues with American transit projects.

May 22, 2022 - Eric Carlson

Parent and child walking, holding hands on mixed-use trail with trees

What Role Does Health Care Play in Community Development?

Cities are economically diverse and require accessible health care systems, but this can be challenging to implement. Urban developers are working alongside health professionals to create affordable care for city residents.

May 18, 2022 - Devin Partida

Multi-Family Development

Density and Driving: A Second Look

A common argument against more compact housing is that increased population density will only reduce vehicle miles traveled at moderate levels of density, as opposed to very low-density and very high-density areas. But this might not be so.

May 22, 2022 - Michael Lewyn

A row of white pickup trucks at a car dealership.

Want to Drive a Big Pickup Truck in D.C.? It’s About to Get (Even More) Expensive

D.C. is considering a $500 vehicle license fee for private vehicles over 6,000 pounds.

47 minutes ago - Bloomberg

Arlington County, Virginia

Zoning Reform Gains Momentum in Northern Virginia

Arlington County and Alexandria are moving forward with actions that could potentially launch a new era of planning and development in their respective communities.

1 hour ago - Greater Greater Washington

Multi-Family Housing

Zoning Reform Works, but Is No Magic Bullet

Improving housing affordability and boosting housing production requires more than just eliminating single-family zoning.

May 26 - Bloomberg CityLab

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.