Walkable Cities are Good for the Economy, LOCUS/GW Report Shows

Walkable cities attract a more highly-educated population and generate one-third higher Gross Domestic Product per capita, according to a recent report by LOCUS : Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors and The George Washington University Center for Real Estate & Urban Analysis.

Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros ranked the top 30 US metropolitan areas based on their amounts of commercial development in what they refer to as Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs) 

Major findings of the report include:

▪   The top ranking metros have an average of 38% higher GDP per capita as compared to the low ranking metros.

▪   Office space in urban WalkUPs rent at a 74% higher premium per square foot over drivable sub-urban areas.

▪   Projections for which metros will contain the most walkable places in the future.

“Cities that want to thrive in our new economic and demographic realities will need to find ways to create and support more of these dynamic, productive walkable districts that are in high demand,” said Geoff Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America.

Washington, DC, New York City, Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago ranked among the top current areas for walkable urbanism, according to the report. Other cities including Miami, Atlanta and Detroit are well positioned for future growth of walkable places based on efforts underway now in those the communities.

“There is the potential for market demand for tens of millions more square feet of walkable urban developmentand hundreds of new WalkUPsin America’s cities, said Emerick Corsi, President, Forest City Real Estate Services and Development. “ Meeting that demand is an opportunity to create huge value for these communities.”