Phoenix Has Potential to Be More Walkable, According to Study

Categories: News
phoenix-at-night-top.jpg
Alan Stark


Phoenix is one of the least-walkable cities in America -- no real surprise there.

But researchers from the George Washington University School of Business have found that the potential for Phoenix to become more walkable is actually moderately high.

See also:
-Phoenix Has More People Walking to Work Than Five Other American Cities

First, the researchers defined what they call "WalkUPs" in every city, which are "regionally significant, walkable urban places."

Phoenix has four such areas, whereas one of the most-walkable cities, San Francisco, has 57.

Phoenix's most-walkable areas, as determined by walkscore.com:

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The researchers took into account the share of office and retail space located in these "WalkUps," which put Washington D.C. first, at 43 percent, and Phoenix and Orlando tied for last among the 30 largest cities, at 5 percent.

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However, the GWU researchers created a model to try to predict how likely a city's future development is to be more walkable. Basically, they looked at whether these walkable areas are gaining occupied office space compared to suburban areas. Phoenix was in the category of cities that have lost out to suburban areas for market share, but have increased their absorption nonetheless. That put Phoenix among the cities with "moderate potential for future walkable urbanism."

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"Famously known as a sprawling metro area, Phoenix's new light rail serving Uptown, downtown Phoenix, and Tempe--and successful revitalization efforts in downtown and Tempe, home of ASU--warrant its moderate ranking," the report says. "Like Tampa, this ranking is primarily based on high walkable urban office absorption over a low base in the current real-estate cycle; only time will tell if these trends endure."

The researchers say these cities with moderate potential for an increase in walkability are likely to see that increase in city center areas, and not an urbanizing of suburbs.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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4 comments
AhaIC
AhaIC

Durrr anyone care to read who and what these GWU "researchers" are? It's the old Agenda 21 nonsense- I will give you a clue that make up their Red Flags: "walkable" "regional" "sustainable" "green spaces" . They make fabulous claims that they are interested in creating these wonderful city-scapes, full of rainbows, "walkable" areas, and "live/work spaces". What they REALLY do is hire unskilled designers who are too stupid to speak up or ask questions- eager for the prestigious "Green" title, to build Soviet style pack 'em and stack 'em ugly concrete apartment buildings that have stores and businesses on the ground floor while losers pay premium rent for apartments above. They disallow or discourage private vehicle driving- hence the "walkable" word- and push public transportation. What has happened to these wonderful "walkable" cities? Well.. I'll give you a PERFECT example: Palo Alto CA where they turned the lovely and exclusive neighborhood into a 3rd world SHIT hole and built these low cost/low income homeless shelters and discount stores on every corner. The nice and intelligent people are leaving it in droves and losers on welfare are all moving in.

nowayjose
nowayjose

@AhaIC the problem with public transportation is that one must put up with the public when using it. ack, have you seen (or smelled) the general public in phoenix? it's not pretty.

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