“Demand for walkable urban space extends beyond city centers to suburbs; why is there an urbanization of the suburbs? Some baby boomers want to sell their large suburban houses and move to a walkable urban place but stay close to friends and family. Young families want the advantages of walkable urban life but also high-quality suburban schools.
Different infrastructure needs to be built, including rail transit and paths for walking and biking. Some research has shown that walkable urban infrastructure is substantially cheaper on a usable square foot basis than spread-out drivable suburban infrastructure; the infrastructure is used much more extensively in a small area, resulting in much lower costs per usable square foot.
It’s important that developers and their investors learn how to build places that integrate many different uses within walking distance. Building walkable urban places is more complex and riskier than following decades-long patterns of suburban construction. But the market gets what it wants, and the market signals are flashing pretty brightly: build more walkable, and bikable, places. “
Entire article (New York Times)