It seems these days that there is a study for everything, even ones that confirm intuition and common sense. These particularly seem like such a waste of time to me. I’m referring to the study referenced in this week’s readings about the correlation between price and “walkability”. Do we really need a study to tell us that ease of access to things like grocery stores, parks, schools, and restaurants will command a higher price? I’m pretty sure a 10 year old could have come to that conclusion.
People that move away from urban areas are well aware that they are sacrificing “walkability”, but they gain other things that are important to them. Such as open spaces, reduced noise and air pollution, etc. What this study is really telling me is that the population is placing less of an emphasis on these items. I’m curious why that is. Perhaps increases in gas prices or elevated knowledge/concern over global warming has reduced the general willingness to drive longer distances to work?
I’m just not convinced that this is a long term trend. Urbanism is self-reinforcing. As urban areas become more densely populated, it becomes more difficult to access them from the outside, which would make you want to live closer to reduce that difficulty, thus making the urban areas more populous. This only lasts for so long. I don’t think humans were made to live stacked one on top of another. I predict that there will be another shift as “walkability” turns to overpopulation and resource scarcity. The cul de sac may again have its day in the sun.