Within a metro exists two types of environments: the “walkable urban” and “drivable suburban” areas occurring in center city or outlying towns. While one might consider an urban core easy to navigate on foot, which walkable cities are more walkable than others? Using a combination of variables ranging from WalkScore to rental data, a study from George Washington University ranked the 30 largest metropolitan areas holding the highest percentage of rentals in walkable urban places (WalkUPs). From there, the metros were categorized into four levels of walkable urbanism: highest, upper-middle, lower-middle and lowest. Growing importance of walkability While developers and investors once targeted areas requiring car commutes, the focus shifted to foot-traffic in the late 20th century. Categorized as the New Urbanism movement, real estate from an office, retail and multi-family standpoint is now focused on neighborhood walkability. Eighty-one percent of all office, retail an...
- Rounding out the top three, New York City, D,C. and Boston have the most rental spaces within walkable urban areas, or WalkUPs.
- Los Angeles, Baltimore, Houston and Miami fell into the third tier – or lower-middle walkable urbanism.
- On average, premiums for WalkUP rents are double what they are in drivable suburban locations.
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