The D.C. area strolls to No. 1 in a ranking of the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas in terms of walkable real estate development projects and places, according to a study co-authored by The George Washington University School of Business and LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors.
The metro region came out ahead of New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago — the Top 5 — in the report titled “Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros.”
The significance: “City” and “suburbs” are blending and planners and developers need to pay attention, the report says.
The report said D.C. has the most office and retail walkable urbanism and “the most balanced distribution of walkable urban space” between the central city and suburbs. It is the only metro are, the study finds, that has more than half of its walkable urban places — named WalkUPs — in the suburbs, citing Reston Town Center and Tysons as examples. Dupont Circle was cited a walkable urban place adjacent to downtown.
“As economic engines, as talent attractors, and as highly productive real estate, these 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.”
The report cited 45 walkable urban places in the D.C. area. They each occupy, on average, 408 acres each. They make up less than 1 percent of the region’s acreage but have brought in 48 percent of the D.C. area’s new office, hotel and rental apartment square footage, the report cites.