Gen X’ers are speaking out across the nation and setting a new trend towards walkable urbanism – a place you can live, work, shop and play – all within walking distance. This trend has already hit critical mass in cities such as Washington DC.,
Tulsans have been living the so called American Dream for the past 50-60 years. The big house, gas guzzlers in the driveway and a big lawn to mow are part of the low density suburban lifestyle consumers have dictated in the past. But is the American Dream changing?
We drive to work, we drive to the grocery store, and we drive to the gym these days. The problems are becoming clearer as developments continue to rise further away from downtown. Effects of sub-urbanism have begun to take their toll on our health and environment, with driving being linked to an increased rate of obesity and greenhouse gas emissions.
With pent up demand from Gen X-ers coming into the housing scene we can shift the tide. What this new demographic wants is largely a walkable urban lifestyle. In fact, national studies suggest that 30-40% of total people want a walkable urban lifestyle, and an even larger percentage of younger generations and empty nesters.
And the best part is with Walkable Urbanism MORE=BETTER. In contrast to sub-urbanism, the more people that join this movement the better these areas become. As more people move into walkable areas more restaurants and entertainment open making these areas even more attractive and desirable.
The tide is turning for
Cost of housing in these areas already exceeds the city average but appreciation is not over according to national estimations. Chris Leinberger, author of The Option of Urbanism, and authority on the subject says walkable areas command between 40%-200% higher prices than suburban properties (based on $/sq. ft.) nationally. With this in mind our walkable areas are a real bargain.