Walkability pays

Lots of folks like to live at relatively high densities.  Though a big house and yard are nice, they prefer easy access to facilities and services. That’s why land prices are usually high in densely-developed areas (One might say that high price is the market’s way of maintaining  density).

None of this is news to Georgists or observant urbanites, but it’s nice to note that it’s been documented that “walkability raises home values in U. S. cities.” How much? Well, computing a “walkability score” based strictly on proximity to 13 different services (apparently with no consideration of whether there are maintained sidewalks or paths), in Chicago each one point increase (equivalent to one percent of the total range) increases residential land value by $5260.  This incidentally is the highest amount for any of the 15 cities studied

Public transportation is not directly recognized in this study, altho it is acknowledged that walkability is somewhat correlated with transit service.  Therefore part of this value may be due to transit.

The walkability study is among many interesting resources identified in VTPI‘s new compilation and analysis “Where We Want to Be: Home Location Preferences and their Implications for Smart Growth (pdf). “