The Commercial Inspector | Why Walkability is Helping Move CRE

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Why Walkability is Helping Move CRE

 February 2, 2022 |  Investment, Management, CRE News |  apartment, real estate trends, business tips, exterior maintenance, building renovation, multi-family property

Getting around larger cities isn’t always the easiest task. Busy streets and sidewalks can extend your travel time, and also give you a headache as you try to navigate your route. That’s why the concept of walkability is so important to people that live in crowded cities. Having everything you need just a step away makes a neighborhood that much more attractive.

Defining Walkability
Walkability is the measure of how friendly an area is for walking to get from one location to another. Certain factors come into account when determining walkability, including health, economic, and environmental impacts. You also have to look at the overall design of sidewalks and roadways to decide how pedestrian friendly the area is. This practice of sustainable urban design has been around since the mid-20th century. While not entirely new, it’s gotten more attention as populations in major cities continue to grow.

Walkability and Transportation
While walking is sometimes the easier way to get around, it isn’t always the most convenient. Especially if you have to travel a long distance, opting for other means of transportation is the better option. Part of cutting down on commute time is being able to reach the bus or subway quicker than you normally would. The majority of travelers want a public stop they can walk to in 10 minutes or less. The closer in proximity they are, the more renters are willing to pay for a space.

Walkability and the Economy
Perhaps one of the biggest things walkability has an impact on is the local economy. Having the stores you need just around the corner means more money going to local businesses. Local boutiques, farmer’s markets, and other start-ups all greatly benefit from a neighborhood’s walkability. Close to 40 percent of consumers say they’d rather have their money go to a small business. That money can then be re-invested to help improve things in the community, such as its walkability.

Walkability and the Environment
Walkability also has a lasting impact on the local environment. The more people walking, the less vehicles there are on the road. This can help reduce the neighborhood’s carbon footprint. As most walkable places are designed, integrating greener spaces makes for a better environment as well. They provide homes for local wildlife and help control rainfall and other problems such as chemicals and waste washing into the water supply.

Walkability and Personal Health
Personal well-being is a fourth benefit of an area’s increased walkability. Instead of driving to work or the gym, now you can walk for both travel and exercise. Studies have shown a decrease in body mass index (BMI) within more active populations. There are also the benefits of heart, joint, and brain health that come from regular exercise. For many people, not having a quality workout area can prevent them from exercising–simply making their daily commute walkable can help them be more active automatically.

Increasing Your Property’s Walkability
On average, most cities see a walkability score of 50/100, meaning there’s substantial room for improvement. While it can be difficult to improve your entire neighborhood’s walkability, you can make an impact with your commercial property. Gearing your building more towards mixed-use can draw in more foot traffic. For instance, combining an office space with a few food places will give your tenants and others a place to grab a quick bite. You can also convert your property to include more green space for people to use on their walks. Just a few changes can get the ball rolling and improve your property and your city.

For all your CRE inspection needs, contact your local NPI inspector and schedule an appointment today.

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