Walkable neighborhoods make valuable properties
Posted by Christine Church on Jun 14, 2011
Walkable neighborhoods offer surprising benefits to the environment, our health, our finances and our communities. A walkable and bicycle-friendly community provides residents and visitors with safe and healthy alternatives to driving. One component of a sustainable downtown is the availability of transportation alternatives. Encouraging walking throughout the downtown not only improves individual and public health, but can also improve the downtown’s economic health, by encouraging more pedestrian traffic—and potential customers—to pass in front of downtown stores.
Environment: Cars are a leading cause of climate change. Your feet are zero-pollution transportation machines.
Finances: One point of Walk Score is worth up to $3,000 of value for your property. Read the research report.
Communities: Studies show that for every 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%.
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
- A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it’s a main street or a public space.
- People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
- Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
- Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
- Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street.
- Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
- Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.
Earlier this year, Reed College economist Noelwah Netusil unveiled the first-ever study combining three Portland obsessions: home prices, walkable neighborhoods, and plants. Netusil confirmed that home prices rise when new amenities—stores, restaurants, mass-transit stops—open within walking distance. So far, so obvious in a city that planners envision as a collage of dense urban villages. But she also found that those price increases are greater in neighborhoods thick with trees, parks, lawns, and other greenery—and it’s not just a little boost, but a big one. Read the full article.
Is your home walkable? Find out at the Walkscore website.
Visit our website to learn about our walkable neighborhoods. New homes are under construction throughout Portland, West Linn and Lake Oswego.
Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for the Portland and Seattle markets.
Image courtesy of: www.pedbikeimages.org /AndyHamilton