Walkability A Key Feature for Urban and Suburban Communities

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Urban dwellers already know what their suburban neighbors are beginning to rediscover. The key lifestyle feature of the twenty-first century is walkability.

Walkability means having all the necessities of life within a convenient walk from your front door. It’s an important concept in sustainable urban design, requiring the integration of safe sidewalks and footpaths, as well as a solid mix of housing, business, and entertainment within the neighborhood.  According to the Urban Design Group, the right walkable design can deliver many economic benefits to a community, including travel cost savings, increased efficiency of land use, increased livability, economic benefits from improved public health, and increased property values for homeowners and businesses alike. According to an article published by NBC news, a city’s walkability has a direct and tangible impact on real estate values.

walkabilityWhen people think of walkability, they usually think first of urban neighborhoods. Patterson Place in downtown Dayton is an excellent example, with the festivals, water sports, and live music of RiverScape just a block away. A few steps further is Fifth Third Field, home of the Dayton Dragons. Brixx Bar and Grill was one of the first restaurants to relocate to the river corridor after the Dragons arrived. Live music and epic burgers keep it hopping, even in the off-season.

The newly completed downtown corridor connects urban residents to all the shopping, live music, and dining in the Oregon District, with choices ranging from Blind Bob’s BLT to the French cuisine at Lily’s Bistro.

Walking paths connect Gardner Park to Parkside Row

Walking paths connect Gardner Park to Parkside Row

However, downtown Dayton no longer has a lock on the walk. Parkside Row in Springboro is right across the street from the Marketplace at Settler’s Walk, a gorgeous new complex of shopping, dining and office space. Over 25 eateries, from fast food to finer fare, line the main street and side avenues. And if you’ve never walked the aisles or attended a cooking class at the world famous Dorothy Lane Market, you have a real treat in store.

This type of walkable community design is growing in popularity. The modern family is busier than ever; they want more shopping and dining options close to home. People who want the convenience of a more urban setting with the green spaces of the suburbs will find both at Parkside Row. The walking paths, green lawns, and sparkling pond of Gardner Park , adjacent to this brand new Simms townhouse community, offer a tranquil breath of fresh air right next door.

The physical health benefits of walkability have been proved. The American Institute for Cancer Research released a report that new developments should be designed to encourage walking, on the grounds that walking contributes to a reduction of cancer.

Something special happens to the social health of a neighborhood when the residents hit the pavement. Residents enjoy increased social interaction, reduced crime and vandalism rates, increased volunteerism, and an increased sense of community pride. One of most important benefits of walkability is the decrease of the automobile footprint in the community. Carbon emissions can be reduced if more people choose to walk rather than drive. Less pollution leads to better health and an improved quality of life.

Imagine working and playing where you live. If that idea appeals to you, explore the walkable communities of Charles Simms Development.

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