On the whole, the more walkable neighborhoods scored higher on every measure of social capital than the less walkable neighborhoods. The authors found that individuals in more walkable neighborhoods tended to have higher levels of trust and community involvement, whether that was working on a community project, attending a club meeting, volunteering, or simply entertaining friends at home. Residents in the more walkable neighborhoods also reported being in good health and happy more often than those in the less walkable neighborhoods.
The authors conclude: “Walkability has been linked to quality of life in other studies. Walkability may also enhance social capital by providing the means and locations for individuals to connect, share information, and interact with those that they might not otherwise meet. The links we found between walkability and measures of social capital in this study provide further evidence for the consideration of social capital as a key component of quality of life.”
Essentially, walking is good. It’s been demonstrated that walkability = affordability = profitability = livability; now walking = happiness.
A challenge with discussing “walking distance” is that “walking distance” is different for different people. Painting with a broad brush – walking for many of my American-born buyer clients is less than a half mile; walking distance for many of my international buyer clients is less than two miles. While the City of Charlottesville is considered fairly walkable, everything is about perspective.
Why does this matter? Simple:
- We need more and better multi-modal infrastructure.
- We need better connectivity between the regional partners.
- Many buyers want walkable homes.
- Many sellers wish they could walk to and from home.
Because this here is a Charlottesville real estate blog, I might as well include a few links to search for homes with high WalkScores:
And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out my current two favorite walkable homes on the market right now. One in Crozet and one in Charlottesville:
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