Demand for Walkable Neighborhoods Outstripping Supply

Millennials and an aging Baby Boomer population have put a premium on "the hottest trend in real estate": walkability.

December 7, 2015, 8:00 AM PST

By jwilliams @jwillia22


walkable street

Dewita Soeharjono / Flickr

Via the Huffington Post, F. Kaid Benfield of PlaceMakers writes that the most sought after amenity for renters and buyers is now 'walkability'. Access to services, shops, restaurants and transportation is now a huge consideration for millennials and baby boomers, whether they prefer to live in the suburbs or in the urban core. Benfield cites a nationwide survey by the National Association of Realtors and Portland State University that found 'walkability' as an important factor in the selection of where people live.

Across all generations, the Realtors/Portland State survey found that an overwhelming majority of respondents - 79 percent - believe it to be very or somewhat important, in choosing a home, to be "within an easy walk of other places and things in the community." It also found that people who now live in such neighborhoods are especially satisfied with the quality of life in their communities. Fifty-four percent of those respondents who agreed with the statement "there are lots of places to walk nearby, such as shops, cafes, and restaurants" reported being very satisfied with the quality of life in their communities; only 41 percent of all respondents reported being very satisfied.

Benfield notes that while most cities across the United States have areas that can be considered 'walkable', there aren’t enough to meet demand.

And, because their supply is limited, prices for walkable locations are sky-high. Research has shown that each one-point increase in a home's Walk Score (a 100-point scale measuring an address's accessibility to walkable destinations) is associated with a $700 to $3000 increase in its value compared to less walkable homes of comparable size.

So what can be done to create more walkable areas in our cities and suburbs? Banfield offers a few good solutions, including the implementation of form-based codes and a focus on LEED for Neighborhood Development when updating that existing zoning codes.

Monday, November 30, 2015 in The Huffington Post

The New York Public Library's stone lions Patience and Fortitude have donned face masks to remind New Yorkers to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Top Urban Planning Books of 2021

Planetizen's annual list of the top urban planning books of the year is here—maintaining a tradition that dates back to 2002.

November 26, 2021 - James Brasuell

Empty Road

The Roadway Expansion Paradox

Motorists want expensive roadway expansions provided that somebody else foots the bill, but when required to pay directly through tolls, the need for more capacity often disappears. What should planners do?

November 28, 2021 - Todd Litman

Homeless encampments on the Venice Beach Ocean Front Walk.

The Blue State Problem

The New York Times and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver have a message for progressives living in liberal cities in Blue States: you're part of the problem.

November 21, 2021 - The New York Times

A man passes by a store in an empty mall. A sign in the window of the store reads "Covid-19 Essentials."

Downtown Foot Traffic Recovering Slowly, Report Says

Pedestrian activity in U.S. downtowns is still way down compared to pre-Covid levels, but the numbers are ticking back up month by month.

4 hours ago - Globe St.

A sign on a door says proof of vaccine is required to enter.

Another Biden COVID Vaccine Mandate on Hold

Last month, a court stayed Biden's large private employer mandate that requires workers to be vaccinated or test-and-mask. On Tuesday, a federal district court judge stayed the vaccine mandate that applies nationwide to most health care workers.

5 hours ago - The New York Times

Pacific Ocean

Cities Finding Ways to Resist State-Mandated Upzoning

The resistance to state-mandated zoning reforms, already well underway in Oregon, is now starting to whiplash through California as well.

6 hours ago - Los Angeles Times

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.