According the many CRE professionals, walkability is the amenity of the future. Most speculate that 80% of all future development will target only 10% of land, the 10% that allows for increased connectivity between neighborhoods and improved pedestrian and non-vehicular access. This 10% of land is referred to as WalkUPs, or Walkable Urban Places. Currently, WalkUP areas command 74% higher rents and lease up about 20% faster than those assets outside of WalkUP areas.
This is both good and bad news for Atlanta, which currently has several projects underway aimed at improving the walkability of several in-town neighborhoods and districts but as thus far failed to break into the top ten most walkable cities; Atlanta is currently #40 on the list of walkable cities. Atlanta’s goal should be to rise on this list, as cities with high walkability scores are more resistant to recessions, have more active residents, and see increases in retail sales and rents. The top five most-walkable cities are: