Buyers will pay15.5 percent more for homes in “new urbanist” communities than for similar homes in conventional subdivisions, according to research from Gerrit Knaap, executive director of the University of Maryland's National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education. New Urbanist communities are planned developments designed to be pedestrian friendly with easy access to businesses and public transit—all aimed at fostering a sense of community. Knaap found that while buyers will pay more to be close to such amenities, most would prefer to live on cul-de-sacs, not directly next door or above stores or light-rail stations. “The American public seems conflicted and self-centered” in terms of deciding where they want to live, Knaap says. Interestingly, prices in such communities do not seem to be negatively impacted by density. John McIlwain, of the Urban Land Institute, found that land can be built up intensively if the living is still comfortable. “How you design it and the amenities you include are critical,” he said.