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Economic Benefits of New Urbanism Bullet Point Sheet

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““The economic health and harmonious evolution of neighborhoods, districts, and corridors can be improved through graphic urban design codes that serve as predictable guides for change.”
(Congress of New Urbanism Charter).

“Across the country, developers have sensed that home prices in Traditional Neighborhood Developments command significant premiums over comparable units within Conventional Suburban Developments in the same market area” (“Home Prices in TNDs Command Premiums”, New Urban News, January/February 1998).

“The Traditional Neighborhood Development returns substantially exceed the real estate investment returns reported in the National Council for Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries Property Index (just under 9 percent average annual return over the last 10 years)” (“New Urban Projects Yield Solid Returns”, New Urban News, January/February 1998).

“In towns, villages and urban neighborhoods, property value is closely related to the quality of the public realm. A drive through any old town or city will reveal that where the public realm suffers from streets engineered for high-speed traffic, deteriorated urban fabric or crime, property values also are low.

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On the other hand, look at neighborhoods with high quality public realm—not just in terms of infrastructure and pavement, but also human-scale streets, interesting streetscapes, good architecture, well-formed spaces and lively street-level shopping. Chances are, property values will be the highest in these locations” (“New Urbanism’s Ace in the Hole”, New Urban News, March/April 1998).

“The above represents an important ‘ace in the hole’ for New Urbanism. Not only does it have the potential to increase property values, but it can do so at higher densities without the buffers, setbacks and rigid separation required in suburbia. That means higher tax revenues in both cities and suburbs where new urbanist projects are developed” (“New Urbanism’s Ace in the Hole”, New Urban News, March/April 1998).

“The potential tax benefits of New Urbanism are not confined to inner cities. The higher densities of typical traditional neighborhood development (TND) means that these types of projects have the potential to increase tax revenues from a given piece of land, compared to conventional suburban development” (“New Urbanism’s Ace in the Hole”, New Urban News, March/April 1998).

“The New Urbanism offers economic and practical benefits of developers, buyers, and local government. For the developer, walkable neighborhoods usually mean higher density which can mean lower land cost per home. TNDs typically attract a broader range of buyers, because they offer a wide range of housing types and prices with neighborhood commercial and retail. Developers who are doing TND believe that the product will have higher value this belief is being proven in a number of developments with high rates of land appreciation” (Robert Chapman III, “New Urbanist Projects Attract Investment”, New Urban News, January/February 1999).

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A recent George Washington University study shows that consumers are willing to pay $30,000 to $40,000 more for houses in Kentlands, a neotraditional development in Gaithersburg, Maryland, compared to similar housing nearby. ‘While a portion of that premium may be attributed to factors other than neotraditional planning,’ says associate professor of finance Mark Eppli, ‘we believe the majority of the premium is attributed to the New Urbanism’” (“’New Urbanism Premium’ Identified in Kentlands”, New Urban News, November/December 1997).

“Suburban sprawl increases population, saps inner-city development, and generates enormous costs costs which ultimately must be paid by taxpayers, consumers, businesses, and the environment. The problems are not to be solved by limiting the scope, program, or location of development they must be resolved by rethinking the nature and quality of growth itself, in every context” (Peter Calthorpe, The Next American Metropolis, 1993).

“Neotraditionalism may not be for everyone, any more than a Toyota will satisfy the needs of every car buyer. The market for suburban cul-de-sac neighborhoods remains strong. But researchers have found that many consumers do like traditional neighborhoods or would if offered the choice” (“Neighborhoods Reborn”, Consumer Reports, May 1996).

“Sustainable communities consume less space, per capita for example, or require a smaller supply of fossil fuels to keep them running” (“Taming the Suburban Wasteland”, On Wisconsin, Michael Penn, Winter 1998).

“In a neotraditional town, most or all of the residents live within walking distance of a full service downtown core and a mass transit link with nearby urban centers; streets are laid out on a grid to provide multiple routes from point A to point B; and sidewalks are lined with trees and front porches to promote strolling and social interaction” (“The New American Neighborhood”, Better Homes and Gardens, September 1997).

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“New Urbanist theory venerates the grid pattern, in contrast to the cul-de-sacs of the suburbs, because it enhances the streetscape and facilitates walking” (“Toppling Towers,” Newsweek, November 4, 1996).

“Founded several years ago by a group of architects from around the country in response to suburban sprawl and urban decay, the New Urbanists are striving to change the way we live by changing the look of what we live in, and the streets we live on” (“Return of Front Porches Fosters Neighborhood Charm”, The Boston Sunday Globe, August 18, 1996).

“Some of the effects that these components are supposed to produce are decreased dependence upon automobiles, less pollution, a greater proportion of open space to developed space, a greater level of convenience and amenity for residents, more affordable housing and increased housing options, business incubator opportunities, increased neighborliness, fiscally balanced growth, visual harmony, more responsible consumption of natural resources, less traffic congestion, less duplication of municipal services (like police and fire protection, and garbage and snow removal), and greater overall safety” (What is Traditional Neighborhood Design?, undated).

“Traditional Neighborhood Design attempts to create an optimal mix of all of the diverse elements of our towns or cities that, taken together, provide the richness of our daily lives. Furthermore, it attempts to place this rich mix of elements like shopping, work, and recreation within reach of people’s homes” (What is Traditional Neighborhood Design?, undated).

“It is more like a system for reintegrating some of the traditional diversity into present day neighborhoods, and providing the neighborhood residents with functional and social amenities within easier reach” (What is Traditional Neighborhood Design?, undated).

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