For the first time in half a century, urban “walkable places” — where you can get to a grocery, coffee shop, school or restaurant by foot and where there is easy access to public transport — are gaining market share over their suburban counterparts.
That changing trend in housing and living preferences is being tracked by George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, whose recent study has found that of 149 urban walkable places, 31 of them are in New Jersey.
“New Jersey is doing well in walkability, but they need to do better,” said Michael Rodriguez, director of research for the center. He added the data show that walkable towns improve the economy, create jobs, bring additional tax revenue, and boost overall economic output.
Garden State locations on the center’s walkable list include Princeton, downtown Jersey City and Hoboken, Trenton and downtown Linden.
Rodriguez said New Jersey has “a giant asset” in its many rail stations. “I work in cities around the country. Places would kill to have the kind of commuter rail and this kind of transit,” he said.
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