Improving public health and decreasing crime are two important reasons cities and communities should invest in walkability. However, the most compelling reason for community decision-makers is the fact that walkability supports economic stability. This study, found on the Walk Sacramento website, assesses the walkability of Sacramento neighborhoods and the effects different walkability levels have on home and property values around the city. The research used to make the argument in this case demonstrates the depreciation of home values in different neighborhoods based on their walkability measure.
Research on walkability and economic performance shows that walkable communities support more productive retail activity and retain higher property values. This study examines nine neighborhoods in the Sacramento region and assesses the change in home values in each community from 2005 to 2012. According to the data, walkable neighborhoods experienced less of a decline in home values compared to more suburban areas that are dependent on personal automobiles.
Other report highlights include:
- Stakeholders should be concerned with the walkability of their community and the necessary investments for making neighborhoods more walkable. Improving the walkability of a community will affect the home and property levels, as well as local business activity.
- Studies show that desired neighborhood characteristics such as being located near schools, parks, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. increase the price of property and dwellings located in such areas command a premium price.
How to Use
Local and regional planners, community leaders and local officials can use the information presented in this article to better understand the impact walkability has on the local economy in regards to home and property values. To improve the economic stability of the community, planners should incorporate walkability assessments into their strategic economic development plans.