It may be, according to a new report from CEOs for Cities that measures home value in walkable and less walkable communties.
The data in Walking the Walk is based on Walk Score, a website that measures the walkability of any given address by counting how many destinations (parks, library, stores) are within walking distance.
(I would quibble this approach only to note that my house is close to a hardware store, sushi shop (!), and a national park, but with few sidewalks leading to them, walkability is limited.)
Nonetheless, using data from ZipRealty in 15 major markets, they found home values were between $700 to $3,000 higher than is less walkable neighborhoods.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth came out today with its Cool Communities report, that is, places that are mixed use and walkable, generating fewer auto trips and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The report has found a way to quantify diversity and local design, characteristics that are essential to community function and character, but often overlooked in more technical discussions.
Based on recommendations in the executive summary, Montgomery County seems to be doing a few things right—focusing development at Metro stations and making infill development and infill transit top priorities.
Another recommendation is to “create urban street grids” that support “walk and bicycle access to transit.” In Montgomery, all projects in most urban and suburban area include sidewalks, and outside urban … Continue reading
…is paved with brick, “special” light poles, custom garbage cans, and light pole banners. You don’t need to be a keen-eyed tracker to read the signs–planners have been here.
But are special materials necessary to create a good design or great architecture? Frank Gehry made his name with chain link and corrugated steel. Without a designer’s hand these are the materials of a shantytown. The Case Study Houses are icons of modernism, but they were originally built with off-the-shelf materials, intended to be accessible to the average Joe and Josephine.
The request or requirement for special materials is well-intentioned, but not necessary. With artistry, asphalt and concrete become unique reflections of place.