Koji Sasahara

Walkability is one of the main reasons we see more and more millennials and boomers wanting to stay in urban centers, but it comes at a price.

CityLab' Richard Florida writes walkable neighborhoods in the U.S. have both more wealthy and highly educated residents. It used to be those with enough money to buy a car left the city, now those with enough money can buy a place where everything is in reach.

The most interesting part of the report examines the connections between walkability and economic development, education, and social equity.

Walkable metros are more affluent, as the chart below (which plots the connection between walkability and GDP per capita) shows. In fact, the correlation between the two is substantial (.49). Here, the top metros are driven by large superstar cities and tech hubs like New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and D.C. These places are not only more affluent, but also denser, with more extensive transit systems. The two exceptions are Dallas and Houston, which have relatively low shares of walkable urbanism but higher GDPs per capita.

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