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Walkable Neighborhoods: The Answer to Successful Revitalization?

Areas suffering from “suburban sprawl” need new strategies for success.  Woodstock, Georgia, which is about 30 miles from Atlanta, began implementing such strageies after winning a planning grant over 10 years ago. The grant funded a new design for its neighborhood center, which resulted in increased density, transforming 30 acres of land into about 300 units of housing and 80,000 square feet of commercial space, plus a string of open parks. Woodstock became a walkable community before the term became popular, and one resulting effect has been a 17 percent increase in property values over the past five years.

Woodstock is a good example of what planners and developers can do to create successful revitalization in struggling towns. As Americans continue to abandon the suburbs for the city center, these outlaying areas need to think about sustainability and ways to make areas safe and appealing for those on foot. Numbers show that walkable communities are the most successful. These areas are better environmentally, provide more social opportunities and are better for businesses. In addition, property values are higher in these neighborhoods.

Read the article to see how suburban places can transform.