A recent study has looked at 558 walkable urban places within the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the United States and has found that the Washington region is at the top of the list! Rankings were determined by looking at how many of these walkable urban places were located within each metropolitan area, as well as how many retail and offices spaces were concentrated within. The study was the product of a broad partnership but was led and authored by Chris Leinberger from George Washington University.
Of particular interest is the way they study map areas like ours. Using labels like “downtown,” “urban commercial,” and “redeveloped drivable sub-urban” (likely the label most applying to White Flint), the study looks at how each of these categories impacts the behaviors and expectations of people in the area. To that end, a related Washington Post article gets to the heart of our mission here for White Flint: making this a truly walkable place, where people actually walk.
As the Post article notes:
Developers in Tysons, White Flint and even New Carrollton area – often using updated zoning rules — are aggressively turning their strip center and office park properties into more walkable, urban nodes. Tysons is adding the Silver Line, White Flint may get bus rapid transit and New Carrollton already has Metro, Amtrak and MARC trains and will be home to a major mixed-use development anchored by the state housing department offices… All of this is likely to increase foot traffic. But anyone who has been to these places recently probably wasn’t walking.