Walkable cities like Providence have numerous benefits for their residents. Walkability provides convenience, a healthy lifestyle, and neighborhood pride. According to the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU), there are also immense economic benefits to walkable neighborhoods. A recent study showed that homes in walkable neighborhoods build $448,217 more in equity than homes that require transportation. Furthermore, when residents shift their transportation costs to real estate costs in these neighborhoods, they can build an average of one million dollars in wealth over 40 years.
How Walkable Cities Save Residents Money
Although the cost per square foot of housing is often slightly higher in walkable neighborhoods, the savings on transportation costs are huge. Residents do not have to make car payments, pay for fuel, maintenance, and insurance, nor do they have to pay expensive parking fees. The average costs add up to a minimum of $6,000 per year. Combined with their housing costs, homeowners are spending 45% of their income to live in transportation dependent neighborhoods. Removing this heavy annual expense can help residents save more money for expensive costs like university or retirement.
The Future Is Walkable
The economic savings benefit both homeowners and renters in walkable neighborhoods. Therefore, city planners are now rethinking how they develop neighborhoods. No longer are they pushing population overflow to the suburbs, they are looking for new ways to develop mixed-use neighborhoods where residents can access all their needs with a short walk. As more people realize the economic benefits of living in a walkable city, more cities are developing urban and suburban centers to provide these great benefits.
The Other Benefits Of Living In A Walkable City
Beyond the economic benefits, there are a ton of reasons why walkability benefits residents. People who like in walkable neighborhoods are more likely to have less health problems because they get routine exercise. They also save time because everything they need is very convenient. They can spend the time saved on running errands pursuing the things they enjoy like spending time with their families or enjoying their hobbies. Walkable neighborhoods also offer a strong sense of community, so people are often happier and more connected with their neighbors. Finally, walkability helps protect the environment by reducing the carbon emissions from motor vehicle transportation.
Providence Is A Highly Walkable City
Providence was named one of the 10 most walkable cities by Huffington Post. With great areas such as College Hill, Federal Hill, and Wayland Square that are completely walkable, Providence residents can enjoy all of these benefits no matter what part of town they’d like to settle. The new Downcity developments also will provide more walkability for residents. In any of these areas, residents can save money and begin building wealth. These neighborhoods also offer a diverse range of housing options from restored colonial homes to new upscale condos, there is something for everyone.
When looking for a new home, consider the economic benefits of living in a walkable city like Providence. Even though your upfront housing costs may be slightly more, in the long term you will save a lot of money.