Monday, September 28, 2015

Economic Benefit of Increasing Neighborhood Walkability

Do investments in sidewalks and other pedestrian-oriented infrastructure pay off for cities? According to two professors of landscape architecture at Texas A&M, sidewalk investments only lead to higher property values and higher property taxes if they're deployed in neighborhoods that are already walkable:

We found that the highest premiums for walkability are in the most walkable neighborhoods: a 1 percent increase in walkability yielded a $1,329 increase in property values; a 1 percent increase in sidewalk density generated a $785 increase in property values. Homes in neighborhoods that are at least somewhat walkable and very walkable also experienced premium increases, although correspondingly less. In contrast, increasing walkability and sidewalks in car-dependent neighborhoods did not have any significant impact on property values. Therefore, it is likely that an investment in sidewalks and neighborhood amenities will yield a greater home price increase in a walkable neighborhood than in a car-dependent neighborhood.

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