Atlanta may be one of the largest urban sprawls, but it was recently ranked the 8th most walkable city in a study conducted by researchers at George Washington University and LOCUS, a development group linked to Smart Growth America. Rather than assessing each city as a whole, researchers identified walkable areas in the metro regions, which they called "WalkUPs". They found 588 total WalkUPs in the U.S.'s 30 largest metro areas, and of those, 27 WalkUPs are located in metro Atlanta.
In Atlanta, 50 percent of the hotel, retail, office, and apartment space developed between 2009 and 2013 was in what is considered to be walkable areas. The BeltLine project, a 22-mile ring around greater downtown, along with three new streetcar lines, will encourage walkable urban development in the metro area. “Despite its sprawling history, the strength of Atlanta’s walkable urban places, relative to its peers, appears to be real,” write the researchers. “This real estate cycle, starting in 2009, represents a major shift for Atlanta.”
Across the country, researchers found a correlation between walkability and higher income and education. Walkable areas also had more premium retail and office space. In other words, walkable areas attract good jobs and businesses and wealthier, well-educated workers and residents.
According to an assessment by WalkScore.com, these are the most walkable neighborhoods in metro Atlanta:
1. Buckhead Village
3. Sweet Auburn
5. Inman Park
6. Old Fourth Ward
7. Marietta Street Artery
8. Castleberry Hill
10. Harris Chiles
For more information, please see:
Foot Traffic Ahead - Christopher B. Leinberger & Patrick Lynch
America's Most Walkable Cities & What They Have in Common - Urbanful
Living in Atlanta - WalkScore.com
Study: Atlanta Ranks No. 8 for Walkable Areas - Atlanta Magazine