- Ballston – Arlington, VA
- Bethesda, MD
- Clarendon / Courthouse – Arlington, VA
- Falls Church, VA
- Old Town – Alexandria, VA
- Shirlington – Arlington, VA
- Silver Spring, MD
For decades now city suburbs have been spreading their fingers further and further out into the formerly rural environments that had once seemed inaccessible. As that migration progressed jobs tended to stay toward city centers, thus creating the the traffic log-jams we have come to know and love today. For this, and numerous other reason the re-urbanization of America is firmly underway. In some cases this means more people are moving back into these pre-existing city centers, while in other cases it means that centers of business, commerce, and residential density are being created in new areas (consider Reston Town Center for instance).
More and more as I sit down with home buyers one of the key variables they hope to find in a home is walkability. They want convenient (ie, walkable) access to a grocery store, restaurants, coffee shops, movies, and if possible, work. The benefits to such a lifestyle are numerous:
- Economic: Less money on gas, and they may not even need a car anymore.
- Life Balance: This is especially true if proximity to work can be included in the equation.
- Health: If someone is walking everywhere they go, or cycling, they are going to be more healthy by default. And I argue this will be both physically and mentally. I mean, who’s mind doesn’t benefit from some regularly scheduled fresh air?
- Environment: Not everyone is thinking about their carbon footprint when they choose a walkable neighborhood, but if that is important to someone, then living in a walkable community has a huge impact in this regard. Not only do you do far less driving, but these communities typically have greater access to things like local produce via farmers markets.
So, what about DC you say? Much of DC goes without saying. With the renewal happening along H St. and the plans underway in Southwest DC, it is going to be difficult to find many neighborhoods within the District that wouldn’t be considered a “Walkers Paradise” by the folks at WalkScore.