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Report: Atlanta Shifting From Sprawl to Walk

WalkUPCover_Atlanta_forwebPeople increasingly want to live in walkable urban neighborhoods in Atlanta, a city long identified with modern suburban sprawl.

A new report from GWSB’s Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor of Urban Real Estate Christopher Leinberger, who chairs the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the School, found that metropolitan Atlanta is seeing a re-emergence of walkable urban development.

“The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Atlanta” is the second report on walkable urban places (“WalkUPs”) from Leinberger, who is a fellow at the Brookings Institution public policy think tank and president of LOCUS, a national network of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable development in America’s metropolitan areas.

Leinberger’s first report, released in September 2012, found that high-density, urban areas with multiple transportation options are driving growth in today’s real estate market.  The findings were based on a study of WalkUPs in seven counties in metropolitan Washington, D.C.

“The market has spoken, it is now time for public policy to reflect this new market demand by putting in the necessary infrastructure and zoning” that supports WalkUPs, said Leinberger. “Metropolitan Atlanta is now experiencing the end of sprawl.”

In Atlanta, the study found a surprising, overwhelming emergence of walkable urban development.

The report identified 27 established WalkUps in the Atlanta area in 2013, and nine emerging WalkUPs.  While 74 percent of established WalkUPs are within city limits, all nine emerging WalkUPS are in the suburbs.  The report identified eight out of 10 potential WalkUPs outside the city.

However, it also found that Atlanta has underinvested in rail transit, an aspect of transportation infrastructure that supports walkable urban environments and is in demand in today’s real estate market.

Leinberger said the emergence of WalkUPs is generating a new “place management” industry of professionals who develop strategy and provide day-to-day management in walkable urban areas.

To download the full Atlanta report, go here.


Posted by gwsb on October 15, 2013 | Filed under: GWSB News.

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