Robert Steuteville  |  Better! Cities & Towns

In the first regional, comprehensive study of mixed-use urban centers, Christopher Leinberger coins a clever term, WalkUPs (walkable, urban places). Leinberger examines 43 WalkUPs in the Washington, DC, region, most of which have been created in the last two decades.

Although they only occupy 1-2 percent of the DC land area, they account for 29 percent of the income-producing property and they generate tax revenues far out of proportion to the land they consume. Since 1990, WalkUPs have steadily gained a larger share of commercial development in the region, and Leinberger, research professor of urban real estate at the George Washington University School of Business, argues DC is a model for how the nation will develop in the coming decades.

“This shift is extremely good news for the beleaguered real estate industry and the economy as a whole,” he says. “It will put a foundation under the economy as well as government tax revenues, much like drivable sub-urban development benefited the economy and selected jurisdictions in the second half of the 20th century.” Better! Cities & Towns will feature a more extensive report on The WalkUP Wake-Up Call in the coming October-November issue. Here are some highlights from the report {…}