Friday, June 10, 2011

Is Walkability Reaching a Tipping Point?

Am I premature, or does it appear that the desire for dense, urban, walkable communities is reaching a tipping point of sorts?  It appears that there are more quality developments planned or being delivered which take the pedestrian and transit into consideration.  It also appears that more press is being devoted to these urban infill projects, further adding to the walkable cause.

In recent weeks, several studies have shown the additional benefits of living and working in dense, walkable communities.  The results of these studies are not surprising to those of us who have advocated for such development for years.  But, the benefits are starting to be discussed in the mainstream.  From having positive financial benefits to trusting one's neighbors more and participating in civic activities more often, studies are showing attributes of walkable, urban lifestyles other than the typical benefits of reduced pollution and gas use.

Even in Atlanta, long a car-centric city, we are seeing recent developments along this line.  The Beltline continues to develop, with a new park opening this weekend.  Recent announcements to develop areas of midtown with dense, walkable projects continue to come, with an announcement today for a new building by Selig and Daniel at its 12th & Midtown project.  These dense, walkable projects are increasing becoming the de facto new development projects in Atlanta and throughout the country.

Could it be that we are starting to see a tipping point here?

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