Urban Planning Professor Jonathan Levine discusses walkable communities in the Wall Street Journal

Urban Planning Program Chair Jonathan Levine shared insights on the current trend towards developing suburban “walkable communities” in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

The Sept. 19, 2009 feature, “Making Suburbia More Livable,” highlighted Levine’s research that many suburbanites, despite their attachment to big homes in big yards, are looking for features found in walkable developments. In fact, Levine found that in a survey of 1,600 primarily suburban households in Atlanta and Boston, about one-third of Atlantans and about four in 10 Bostonians liked the idea of having public transit and pedestrian environments.

The article suggests that these communities, with new town homes and condominiums in an area where single-family homes have long been the norm, could give residents of all ages more housing options and new greenways and parks could promote social interaction, particularly for older residents.

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