Not only is walking beneficial to our health and the environment, a walkable city can also have economic advantages.
It is no coincidence that the six most walkable cities in the world have high GDP levels. Here in Australia, a study by Victoria Walks, on Melbourne’s walkability scores, especially with its famous laneways showed a high correlation with locations where the property market has done well over the years.
The survey found that Carlton was at first place with a walkability score of 97, then Fitzroy with 96, Fitzroy North, Melbourne and St Kilda all rated at 93 points, and then South Yarra, East Melbourne, South Melbourne and Collingwood with 92 points.
These scores suggest that housing values are higher in walkable cities. The real estate value in these areas increases $298 per square metre every time their walkability score increases by five points.
This is why prices in these suburbs are so expensive. However, investing in these locations could be worth it in the long run.
This is because all the places that you would need to go to are just a walking distance from your home. Therefore, you could sell your car to make some extra money to use for whatever purpose. If you sold your car today, you would be able to save an average of $10k – $12k per year. Over 15 years, that is over $150,000 that could go to paying off the mortgage.
We should make an effort to make all our cities more walkable. It will boost a city’s GDP which in turn will have a positive effect on our economy, and it will clearly make our communities healthier, happier, and more sustainable.
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