Does walkability matter? An examination of walkability's impact on housing values, foreclosures and crime

John I. Gilderbloom, William W. Riggs, Wesley Meares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations


In this study, researchers examined 170 neighborhoods in a medium-sized city to see whether walkability influences neighborhood sustainability. Until 2008, there had not been a reliable measure of the social, health, and economic impact of walkable neighborhoods. This dramatically changed when scholars were able to quantify walkability with tools such as Walkscore™; which measures how accessible daily living activities are by foot. The researchers investigated how walkability impacts the quality and sustainability of a neighborhood. They developed models that evaluated the correlation between an area's Walkscore™; and four broad measures of urban sustainability: neighborhood housing valuation; foreclosures; and crime. Our analysis shows a positive impact not only on neighborhood housing valuation but also on neighborhood crime and foreclosure. These results provide policy opportunities for planners and citizen groups to pursue strategies to encourage the development of more walkable and sustainable neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
Issue numberPA
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Community development
  • Housing
  • Sustainability
  • Walkability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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