Or, “Sidewalks and Bike Paths: Not Just Recreation Anymore”
Urban design consultant Hazel Borys has compiled a bunch of studies and statistics to demonstrate “Places That Pay”, meaning that ways in which cities and towns choose to build and develop have quantifiable fiscal (and other) outcomes.
This is why it matters ~
- whether lots are wide or deep;
- whether a network of sidewalks connects streets and neighborhoods;
- whether there’s a town center or a highway strip;
- whether a place prioritizes the movement of cars over the movement of people not in cars;
- and a lot of other things.
If I could, I’d republish the whole thing here. I’m excerpting a few teasers in hopes that you’ll be curious enough to read the original.
Compact infrastructure is up to 47% less expensive than conventional development patterns. (Morris Beacon, 2010)
Calgary estimated compact development will save the City $11 billion in infrastructure costs, making it 33% less costly to build the roads, transit, water, recreation, fire, and schools that it expects to need over the next 60 years. (PlanIt Calgary, 2009)
(What I said.)
Homes in walkable urban neighborhoods have experienced less than half the average decline in price from the housing peak in the mid-2000s. (Brookings Institution, 2011)
Households in drivable suburban neighborhoods spend on average 24% of their income on transportation; those in walkable neighborhoods spend about 12%. . . (Brookings, 2010)
The biggest difference between spenders and savers is car expenses. (Statistics Canada, 2005)
Average annual operating cost of a bicycle: $308. Average annual operating cost of a car: $8,220. Low-income families may spend up to 55% of income on transportation when they live in auto-centric environments. (Forbes, 2012)
If one in ten Massachusetts adults started a regular walking program, the state would save $121 million in heart disease expenditures annually. (MA Dept. of Public Health, 2008)
There’s a lot more where this came from. Read all about it over on Placeshakers.