mixed use walkable communities

Benefits of Living in a “Walkable” Community

There are many benefits to living in One Loudoun such as all the local restaurants and entertainment, the central park, community rec center and pool and so much more. But perhaps one of the biggest benefits is the fact that it is a walkable community.

Everything you need is just a stroll away. So instead of spending half your life shuttling around in your car you can get out and enjoy the beautiful Ashburn, VA spring weather on foot. Aside from just the pleasure of an afternoon stroll, there are many other benefits to living in a new walkable community.

Health

Walking does wonders for your overall health preventing things like weight gain, cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease. A study done by the research organization Sightline states that walking 30 minutes a day can add up to a year and a half to your life on average. It also showed that people who live in a walkable community are 2.4 times more likely to walk 30 minutes a day than those who do not.

Less car time can have a dramatic impact on your air quality. A study by The Science of the Total Environment shows that the air you breath while in your car is likely the worst air you’ll breathe in an entire day.

Sense of Community

Another study done by the SPDRC showed that people in walkable communities have greater sense of community, pride of ownership and a feeling of camaraderie with their neighbors. This connection and social support leads to higher levels of happiness.

Safety

Walkable communities have been shown to be safer. A high amount of community members outside means more witnesses, making the location a less appealing target for crime.

Another aspect of safety comes from the design of walkable communities. There are more accessible walking areas and crosswalks, which decreases the likelihood of pedestrians being struck by cars.

Financial

When you live in a community where you can walk to everything you need, you do a lot less driving. Not only does this save on gas money, but it also saves on the mileage and wear and tear of your vehicle.

In addition, residential property values tend to be higher in walkable communities making them a great place to invest in a home.

Environmental

If you’re concerned about the environment then living in this type of community is a great choice. The reduced traffic, gas use, noise and air pollution can have a significant impact on the environment.

SOURCES: sightline.org, sdprc.net

Understanding the Importance of Walkability

Here at One Loudoun, we understand the importance of walkability in a community. It’s one of the main assets you’ll notice in our mixed-use community – the ability to walk from your newly built home to shopping and dining options, opportunities for recreation and entertainment, and even office spaces. More and more developments around the nation are being built with “walkable urbanism” in mind to integrate living, working, shopping and dining into one accessible community.

The trend towards mixed-use, walkable communities continues to grow in popularity, with walkable neighborhoods growing more than twice as fast as the overall market, according to an article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). And there’s good reason for this increase in popularity – walkable, integrated communities have a lot of benefits that homeowners increasingly want for their lifestyle. To understand the importance of walkability in communities for today’s consumers, consider the following:

Health benefits.

Walkability is important from a health standpoint. The NAR article states that people living in “sprawling” non-walkable areas are more likely to be obese and suffer from associated illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Living in a mixed-use community, with the option to walk to all necessities, complements a healthy, active lifestyle.

Environmentally friendly.

The ability to walk within a community or development is also important from an environmental perspective. When destinations such as work, home, shopping, restaurants and transit are within a quarter-mile to half-mile of each other, consumers are more likely to walk instead of drive, according to information from the Urban Land Institute. Less air pollution from less driving is not only correlated with cleaner air to breathe in, but also a healthier environment.

Time and cost efficient.

Residents of mixed-use, walkable communities spend less time commuting to the shopping, dining, recreation, entertainment and even work destinations when they have the option of walking wherever they need to go. According to the NAR article, this can also lead to cost-efficiency – even if homes in walkable communities are more expensive, the lower costs of transportation means that the combined cost of living is about the same as living in a lower-priced “sprawl” area with longer commutes and higher transportation costs.

Diversity.

Mixed-use communities tend to include a mix of generations, incomes and housing types, leading to a more interesting area with character and charm.

Compatible with current trends.

According to the NAR article, the idea of walkability is compatible with current trends in today’s society. The article states that miles driven per person has been flat or dropping since the early 2000s, and the baby boomer generation is starting to phase out of their peak driving years. In addition, milennials – who are entering or in their peak driving years – are driving about one third less than baby boomers did at their age, according to NAR. With less interest in owning and driving cars, it’s easy to see why walkable communities have become so popular.

According to Kelly Morphy, executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, the research is in and the conclusion is that Americans increasingly want to live somewhere where they don’t need to use their cars to access the necessities of life. In addition to having walkability as a key factor in our community, we also boast an excellent location in Loudoun County, the fastest growing county in Virginia and the wealthiest in the nation. Everything you want in a community, all within walking distance of your incredible newly built home, located in the heart of one of Virginia’s most desirable counties – what more could you want in a walkable community?

SOURCE: National Association of Realtors, The Business Journals, Urban Land Institute