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Walkable Urbanism

Foot Traffic Ahead

June 2019
This analysis ranks the current level of walkable urbanism in the 30 largest metro areas, based on the share of office, retail, and rental multi-family occupied square footage in WalkUPs relative to the metro region as a whole. This metric includes the three major types of income-producing property in recognition of the fundamentally mixed-use nature of the most successful WalkUPs.

Catalytic development: (Re)creating walkable urban places

May 2018
This paper takes an in-depth look at six case studies to describe the process of catalytic development, a new model of investment that over the past decade has had remarkable success in creating such walkable communities. Catalytic development focuses on areas abandoned as a result of deindustrialization and auto-oriented development, in some cases recycling the very properties cleared or left vacant by mid-20th century urban “renewal” programs. Catalytic development incorporates many urban design best practices—granularity, incrementalism, and mixing of uses, scales, and people—and can address difficult urban challenges while delivering long-term economic returns to both the public and private sectors.

Foot traffic Ahead

Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros

June 2016

The end of sprawl is in sight. The nation’s largest metropolitan areas are focusing on building walkable urban development.

For perhaps the first time in 60 years, walkable urban places (WalkUPs) in all 30 of the largest metros are gaining market share over their drivable sub-urban competition—and showing substantially higher rental premiums.

This research shows that metros with the highest levels of walkable urbanism are also the most educated and wealthy (as measured by GDP per capita)—and, surprisingly, the most socially equitable

Why American Companies Are Moving Downtown

Hundreds of companies across the United States are moving to and investing in walkable downtown locations. This study examines the characteristics, motives and preferences of companies that have either relocated, opened new offices or expanded in walkable downtowns between 2010 and 2015.

Foot Traffic Ahead

Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros

June 2014

Walkable real estate development projects and places are on the rise nationwide, but certain metro regions are progressing faster than others, according to a new report released today by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business in conjunction with LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, a program of Smart Growth America.

The report, Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros, ranks the country’s top 30 metropolitan areas based on the amount of commercial development in Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs). The study finds higher education levels and one-third higher GDP per capita in high-ranking cities. Additionally, a series of forward-looking metrics examine the future development patterns in these metro areas to predict how walkable or how sprawling their future development is likely to be.

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