Walkable Streets Make Us Richer

Walkability is one of the most important factors for making a city pleasurable to live in, but according to This Big City, it also correlates to wealth:

Research commissioned by the TfL Urban Design team has found that making a street more walkable can add up to £30,000 to the average property price in that street.

The article also mentions that walkability improves shop rental values because it increases foot traffic.

The article goes on to suggest that adding trees and wayfinding, widening sidewalks, etc. can help improve walkability. Luckily, Provo is actively pursuing some of these ideas, such as wayfinding, though the city’s huge streets may need more substantial reworking to meet their full potential.

Ultimately, the connection between wealth and walkability is fairly intuitive; obviously no one wants to live, work or shop on busy “stroads” so it makes sense that walkable streets pack more economic power for their punch. But bafflingly, most streets I use are only marginally walkable at best. That literally means we’re throwing away money.

This street is surrounded by a park and a grocery store, but nevertheless lacks sufficient walkability to prevent many people from running through traffic. New research supports the idea that improved walkability would increase property values.

Freedom Blvd includes numerous parking lots, weeds and struggling businesses. One way to change that would be to raise property values which can be done, in part, by improving walkability.


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