A walkable neighborhood has many benefits for all ages. The upsides of walkable neighborhoods include convenience, social, health, economic, and environmental advantages. This popular trend is real and is there for the taking. Are you adventurous enough to learn the location and positive aspects of the best walkable neighborhoods and cities and make the decision to change your lifestyle?
Convenient and Social
According to Portland-based Gerding Edlan development firm, the ideal is to be within 20 minutes of anyplace you want to go. They call it “The 20 Minute Village”. It’s just a short walk to most anything you need. For those who can’t drive or don’t own cars, the ability to walk to the grocery store, neighborhood coffee shop, restaurant, work, or school is a big plus. As the trend towards walkable neighborhoods increases, restaurants and businesses are jumping on the bandwagon and building there. If it is necessary to leave the neighborhood, public transportation is readily available in many urban or suburban centers.
Because of the social atmosphere of walkable neighborhoods, there are often block parties and farmer’s markets. These activities create more opportunity for social interaction and stronger community bonds. These bonds are good for mental health and happiness.
Save Money and Stay Healthier
On the economic side, Nerd Wallet says that the average cost of car ownership in 2017 was $8,469. Not having a car puts a substantial amount of money back in your pocket. Walkable neighborhoods in cities are often in the process of going through revitalization. The homes are older and have the potential need for repairs. If you decide to buy in one of these areas, consider using some of your car savings to purchase a home warranty. This will protect you from potential unexpected costs from appliance, air-conditioner or other breakdowns. Have fun with the remaining car savings!
According to Build a Better Burb, residents are healthier in a walkable community, as the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes is lower. They also say that this is true in both urban and suburban walkable neighborhoods. The benefits of simply walking to complete routine activities reduces the risk of chronic disease. Kaid Benfield of Placemakers, says multiple scientific studies show that the neighborhoods that are the best for good health are not only walkable but green. He says that more trees in a walkable city neighborhood correlates with a reduced number of emergency room visits for asthma. Add the physical health to the mental health improvements, and the move to a walkable neighborhood is a no-brainer.
Find Your Walkable Neighborhood
Walkscore ranks cities and neighborhoods with a walkability score for several factors. Additionally, they rank transit and biking cities. Check out this Forbes blog for walkable, urban neighborhoods in affordable cities. It gives you the median home price, tax rate, walkability, diversity, and political affiliation of the population. It also includes a list of walkable neighborhoods in each city and a commentary on local flavor. This list reviews cities from Portland, Oregon to Norfolk, Virginia.
An example of a great affordable city for walkable communities is Atlanta. There are several neighborhoods with high walkability scores. According to Victoria Hurd, Redfin Agent, three communities with great walkability are grouped together (Inman Park, Virginia Highland, and Little Five Points) and have access to the Atlanta Beltline walking/biking trail. Off the Beltline are several parks and more restaurants than you can count. Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market are also in this area. Housing options include high-rise condos with city views and old historic homes. The city is growing and gives you access to big city amenities, such as theatre and sports, within easy reach of your walkable neighborhood.
Are you frustrated with traffic jams and car upkeep? Tired of high property taxes? Want to know your neighbors and local business owners? Sell your car, find your place in the perfect city, and protect your property with an American Home Shield home warranty. No matter your age, walkable neighborhoods are good for you. Once you make this move, your worries are suddenly fewer and you’re ready to start walking!