According to the National Association of Realtors, 56 percent of homebuyers expressed a preference for communities that offer various destinations, like shops and restaurants, within walking distance from neighborhoods and access to public transportation options. The Brookings Institution produced this report to discuss the economic and environmental impact of walkable communities. Due to its high concentration of walkable communities per capita, the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is used as a focal point for the report.
Walkable communities affect many aspects of society including the economy, health and well-being, and environmental protection. Recent studies show that neighborhoods with greater walkability have greater resale values and there are clear links between increased walkability and better public health outcomes. Walkability affects the livability and age-friendliness of a community by making health and transportation services more accessible for all community residents, especially older adults facing mobility obstacles. “Two-thirds of buyers factor walkability into their home purchase decision.”
How to Use
The report provides an in-depth discussion of walkable communities and the economic and environmental impact these communities have on society. Planners, community leaders, advocates, and local officials can utilize this report to gain an understanding of what defines a walkable community and how to increase the walkability of their own communities. The report offers a high-level of statistical data demonstrating the benefits of walkable communities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
View full report: Walk This Way — The Economic Promise of Walkable Places in Metropolitan Washington, D.C. — 2012 (PDF – 370 KB)