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Walkable and Bikeable Neighborhoods in Demand | Congress for the New Urbanism

Walkable and Bikeable Neighborhoods in Demand

MattBerggren's picture

The way in which prospective home buyers determine they wish to purchase is changing. In the past home buyers have generally looked for good schools, large lots, and low crime rates. However, the latest trend is to look at the walkability and bikeability of neighborhoods as well.

Homeowners no longer wish to get in their car every time they need to run an errand, visit a friend, or get to work. Large lots in neighborhood separated from retail and commercial entities may be appealing to some, but they lack functionality. Many people are recognizing this reality. They are beginning to realize how ridiculous it is to have to jump in their car every time they wish to leave their home. As a result, many prospective home buyers today are looking for neighborhood that are walkable. They are seeking out neighborhood with small lot sizes and stores close by. One tool people are using to determine the walkability of a neighborhood is Walk Score. This online service gives users a score between 1 and 100 based on how walkable a certain area is, which is determined by the number of amenities in the vicinity. According to an article by Nancy Keates on homebuying, there are some limitations to Walk Score's methodology. For example, the service does not take into account topography. Also, the businesses in Google Maps are not always up-to-date. Problems aside, the Walk Score service offers users valuable information on walkability and its popularity reflects the growing demand for this information.

Other prospective home buyers are looking for neighborhoods that are bike-friendly. They wish to live in neighborhoods where amenities are close enough to be easily biked to, as well as neighborhoods in which they feel safe riding their bicycles. Homewood, IL, is an example of a very bikeable neighborhood. Check out Ashley Gross's article on home-hunting by bicycle. Homewood is so bikable that the a group of prospective home buyers were able to partake in an open house biking tour of the neighborhood, in which they were able to check out both the houses of the neighborhood as well as the bikeability of the neighborhood. According to Gross, Homewood is about to add bike lanes and bike racks throughout the neighborhood to further promote biking.

This growing concern over the walkability and bikeability of neighborhoods is very much welcomed. As the demand for these types of neighborhood increases, the supply of these types of neighborhood will surely follow.

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