Walkable Areas Are Getting More Competition

Older Americans are placing a higher value on living in walkable urban centers, according to a new survey of 1,000 respondents nationwide about their living preferences

A majority of respondents surveyed by A Place for Mom, a national referral service, said it was “very important” or “somewhat important” to live in a walkable neighborhood. They also sought neighborhoods with low crime and those that are close to family.

“It’s time to abandon the idea that only millennials and Generation X care about walkability and the services available in dense urban neighborhoods,” says Charlie Severn, head of marketing at A Place for Mom. “These results show a growing set of senior housing consumers also find these neighborhoods desirable.

The survey authors say it’s important for developers to consider creating multigenerational communities in suburban centers that place an emphasis on walkability. Walkability ranked high regardless of income level in the survey. Walkability ranked highest for those under 70 years old who were seeking senior apartments.

Source: “Seniors Want Walkability Too, Survey Says,” Curbed.com (July 25, 2017)

Is Your Neighborhood Walkable?

Mapping data company Maponics LLC is now offering a tool that rates the walkability of neighborhoods, school attendance boundary zones, subdivisions, and other geographical areas.  The new feature adds to the Vermont-based company’s Maponics Context suite of data around the geographic units it defines using “intelligent polygons.”

“Walkability gives a geospatial meaning to the concept of ‘street smarts.’  We have over 150,000 neighborhoods that we generate the walkability rating for,” said Maponics founder and CEO Darren Clement.

Maponics researchers derive walkability ratings based on a five-point scale using a complex algorithm the company developed.  This algorithm takes into account such information as the concentration of homes in an area, number of local amenities, and the numbers and types of streets and intersections.

Source: “Maponics Now Providing ‘Walkability’ Ratings,” Inman News (July 12, 2013)