Winter 2017: Walkable Neighborhoods

Demand for walkable neighborhoods is increasing and this demand is changing real estate. In this issue, learn more about why walkability is becoming a necessity.

In This Issue

Demand for walkable neighborhoods is increasing and this demand is changing real estate. People of all ages are recognizing the benefits of living in a place where they can walk to nearby shops, restaurants, recreation, and public transportation. The benefits are many — convenience, reduced time spent driving, and the health benefit of building walking into your day.
Whether it comes from formal research or simple observation, the evidence keeps piling up. Lots of people want to live and work where they can walk more and drive less. The demand for walkability is trending faster than a Taylor Swift tweet.
Walk Score, a website launched by two former Microsoft employees in 2007, is a much quoted authority on the walkability of real estate ranging from a home to a neighborhood to an entire city.
Consumers long to be able to walk to and from work, and on the way home maybe window shop, perhaps stop into a local sports bar for a drink, and then pick up dinner at a grocery store or restaurant before heading home — but many want this vibrant urban experience without the cost or hassle of living in a major urban center.

Some people call them amenities. Emily Talen calls them “the good stuff.”

Baked into most walkable urban neighborhoods, they are the just-aroundthe- corner perks that make housing in walkable urban neighborhoods so popular, yet increasingly expensive and in short supply.

Complete Streets are streets designed and built to ensure the safety and mobility of all users. “The biggest reason for our efforts here at the Florida DOT was the 2011 report by Smart Growth America called Dangerous by Design,” said Billy Hattaway, secretary of FDOT’s District One. “The state didn’t rank very well. Improvements were very necessary.”

Visitors to the popular seaside resort of Myrtle Beach, S. C., can enjoy a beautiful afternoon strolling along the white beaches of the Grand Strand and nearby shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
Are Americans driving more or less? Does the increased popularity of walkable neighborhoods have a significant effect on driving? Or are our roads handling more traffic than ever?

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About On Common Ground

A free, semi-annual magazine published by NAR, On Common Ground presents a wide range of views on smart growth issues, with the goal of encouraging dialog among REALTORS®, elected officials, and other interested citizens.

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