By Brad Broberg
Whether it comes from formal research or simple observation, the evidence keeps piling up. Lots of people want to live and work where they can walk more and drive less. The demand for
walkability is trending faster than a Taylor Swift tweet.
• A clear majority of people — 60 percent — favor neighborhoods with a walkable mix of houses and stores
rather than neighborhoods that require more driving
between home, work and play, according to the latest
Community Preferences Survey from the NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
• A survey by the American Planning Association found
that 56 percent of millennials and 46 percent of baby
boomers want to live in more walkable neighborhoods
with a mix of uses.
• Half of the respondents to an Urban Land Institute
survey said that walkability is either the top priority or
a high priority when deciding where they want to live.
A little more than half — 52 percent — said they want
to live where they don’t need to use a car so often.
• A report from NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association, showed office tenants prefer locations
in walkable urban environments — either in cities or
vibrant suburban centers — by a four to one margin
over typical suburban office parks. The report also found
that rents are higher and vacancy rates lower in vibrant
suburban centers than typical suburban office parks.
Now comes “Foot Traffic Ahead: 2016,” a report published
earlier this year by the George Washington University
School of Business and Smart Growth America.
"My grandmother started walking
five miles a day when she was 60.
She’s 97 now, and we don’t know
where the heck she is.”
Ellen DeGeneres, talk show host
Photos courtesy of Arkansas Parks and Tourism