Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2014

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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104 Landscape Architect and Specifier News According to a new report, new development patterns suggest the old dichotomy of "urban" and "suburban" is less meaningful today. A "far more useful understanding of metropolitan America is 'walkable urban' and 'drivable suburban' development." The report, "Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America's Largest Metro," ranks the country's top 30 metropolitan areas based on the amount of commercial development in walkable urban places (WalkUPs). The study also examines the development patterns in these metro areas to predict how walkable or how sprawling their future development will likely be. "As economic engines, as talent attractors, and as highly productive real estate, WalkUPs are a crucial component in building and sustaining a thriving urban economy," said Chris Leinberger, president of LOCUS and author of the report. "Cities with more WalkUPs are positioned for success, now and in the future." "This is an important study underlining the economic power of walkable places, and identifying which metro areas are adding them fastest," said Geoff Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America. The authors list four levels of walkable urbanism, with Level 1 being best, and Level 4 being worst. Six cities were classified as Level 1; 10 cities were classified as Level 4. The number in parentheses is the number of walkups. Level 1 Highly-Walkable Urbanism 1. D.C. (45) 2. New York (66) 3. Boston (37) 4. San Francisco (57) 5. Chicago (38) 6. Seattle (23) Level 4 Low-Walkable Urbanism 21. Sacramento (6) 22. Detroit (14) 23. Miami (17) 24. San Diego (13) 25. Dallas (9) 26. Las Vegas (3) 27. San Antonio (2) 28. Tampa (6) 29. Phoenix (4) 30. Orlando (3) The most walkable urban metro areas, according to the report, have substantially higher GDPs per capita and percentages of college graduates over 25 years of age in the population. "These relationships are correlations," notes the report, and "determining the causal relationships will require further research." The report notes that "based on current and future rankings," the following metro areas will accelerate their evolution in a walkable urban manner: Denver; Los Angeles; Portland; Miami and Atlanta. I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 5 4 7 Walkable Urbanism The new walkable urbanism report http://tinyurl.com/mup2l6w is from the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business, in conjunction with LOCUS, a coalition of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable urban development. LOCUS, is affiliated with Smart Growth America www.smartgrowthamerica.org .

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