Friday, January 24, 2014

Walkability Boondoggle

People follow jobs, not sidewalks at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: People follow jobs debate.

Subject Article: "Homes a Short Walk From Princeton Prove a Tough Sell."

Other Links: 1. "How to create a creative city? The viewpoints of Richard Florida and Jane Jacobs."
2. "Walk this Way:The Economic Promise of Walkable Places in Metropolitan Washington, D.C."
3. "These Are The Cities Where People Walk The Most."

Postscript: Shout out to my editor who came up with the snappy line, "People follow jobs, not sidewalks." I'm jealous I didn't think of it first. I'm surprised at the reaction to this post. Then again, posts I write to provoke usually end up as duds. I touched a nerve. Interesting. Is it more the walkability issue or critically unpacking Jane Jacobs?


Allen said...

“People are buying more than just a house,” said Christopher B. Leinberger, a professor and director of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University. “They’re buying a neighborhood.”

Maybe so but that doesn't really narrow things down much does it? My parents wanted a low tax, low density neighborhood ( 5 acre lot minimum in their township ).

I on the other hand didn't choose my neighborhood based on neighborhood. I wanted to be able to walk to work and everything else. I have less than a mile walk but I do have some freelance pharam folks, an empty hour or three and it's a bit of a redneck ghetto.

Jim Russell said...

That quote struck me as a sales pitch instead of analysis from expert. Probably what set me off.

Matthew Hall said...

what do jobs follow?

Allen said...

Mr. Russell, I can see how that would get a person agreeing. Like you said, what matters is analysis. The question isn't do people want walk-ability but how many people want it and how badly do they want it.

Given historical pricing of housing to income, I have a heard time seeing their is a fairly small number of households that can afford a $750k house no matter what else they're willing to sacrifice. And not everyone making that sort of money is going to want to live in multi unit housing.

Allen said...

Uk's brain drain, London sucks them in but they don't usually return. Yet the graphic for 2009-2012 they have shows they are returning.

Anonymous said...

This is silly. Walkability clearly has value. Sure, not enough to overcome the largest economic opportunity deficits, but enough to enhance competitiveness. Plus walkability is a huge cost-saver long-term. Why the reactionism?