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Walkable communities mean business

by on 11/05/2017

The metro DC region has emerged as a hotbed for walkable environments with a mix of housing, shopping and offices. Vibrant, economically dynamic urban areas exist throughout Northern Virginia, from the Rosslyn-Ballston area in Arlington to Reston Town Center. The Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis calls these areas Walkable Urban Places, or “WalkUPs.” Its 2016 report, Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros, ranks the DC region second in its concentration of WalkUPs — behind only the New York City metro region.

The report demonstrates the growing demand by individuals and employers to live and work in walkable areas. A recent article in the Washington Post by architectural critic Roger Lewis recaps the report’s findings. As Lewis writes, “Given higher values and that investment returns that WalkUPs support, it’s also no surprise that, in America’s 30 largest metro areas, the market share of walkable urban office and apartment development is rising while market share of offices and apartments in auto-dependent suburban development is decreasing.”

Old Town Plaza, photo by Fairfax City Dept. of Community Development and Planning

Fairfax City’s success depends on creating more walkable environments, such as Old Town Plaza

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