Walkable Urban Places Research


Why American Companies are Moving Downtown

Why-American-Companies-are-Moving-DowntownHundreds 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.

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The WalkUp Wake Up Call: Michigan Metros

Walkup-wake-upThis research focuses on seven metropolitan areas in Michigan: Detroit/Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids/Muskegon/Holland, Lansing, Jackson, Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Saginaw/Bay City/Midland and Flint.

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The WalkUp Wake-Up Call: Boston

Metropolitan Boston is leading the country toward a walkable urban future.

WalkUp Wake-Up Call:BostonMarch 2015
By: CHRISTOPHER LEINBERGER and PATRICK LYNCH

For decades, real estate practitioners, observers and scholars studying land use have looked through an urban-versus-suburban lens. It is not unlike the classic social science joke about the tipsy guest who drops his keys at the front door as he leaves a party. While searching under a streetlight at the curb, he is asked, “Why aren’t you looking where you lost the keys?” He replies, “This is where the light is.”

This new research defines—in an entirely new way—the form and function of all land use in Metropolitan Boston’s 3,119 square miles. This study then ranks performance for all land in the region based on two criteria: economics and social equity. The economic performance metric measures both the real estate valuations, as a proxy for GDP (a GDP measure does not exist below the metropolitan level) and the tax assessment that drives most local government tax revenues. The social equity performance metric measures access to economic opportunity and affordability in terms of both housing and transportation costs.

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Foot Traffic Ahead

Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros

Foot_Traffic_AheadJune 2014
By: CHRISTOPHER LEINBERGER

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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The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Washington, D.C.

The Nation’s Capital As a National Model for Walkable Urban Places

CREUA_WalkUPCover_DCSeptember 2012
By: CHRISTOPHER LEINBERGER

The next real estate cycle will be defined by the rise of Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs) and the fall of sprawl development. Metropolitan Washington, D.C., leads the nation in this trend. In this report, Christopher Leinberger defines D.C. metro’s WalkUPs, ranks their economic performance and social equity, and discusses findings and implications for developers and society as a whole.

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The WalkUP Wake-UP Call: Atlanta

The Poster Child of Sprawl Builds a Walkable Urban Future

CREUA_WalkUPCover_AtlantaOctober 2012
By: CHRISTOPHER LEINBERGER & MASON AUSTIN

Urban development in the second half of the 20th century gave rise to the sprawling geographies, connected by vast highway systems, that now characterize most U.S. metropolitan areas. Few metro areas are more sprawling than Atlanta, but things are changing quickly. Leinberger and Austin’s research has found a surprising and overwhelming recent reemergence of walkable urban development in metro Atlanta; in fact, it now accounts for the majority of the metro area’s development. In this report, the authors identify and rank Atlanta’s established and up-and-coming WalkUPs on their economic performance and social equity. Their insights will help developers, real estate professionals, and urban planners determine the most productive places to invest capital and the initiatives most likely to stimulate walkable urban development.

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