Michigan’s walkable areas – downtown and midtown Detroit, Ann Arbor, Birmingham and Grand Rapids – are attracting significant new development, according to a study by LOCUS (a program of Small Growth America and other partners, including Michigan State University).
LOCUS’s series of studies or urban areas has coined the term WalkUPs: Walkable Urban Places. They report that, in Michigan, from 2009 to 2014, “Twenty two percent of all new income property development has located in the 2.7 percent of land that is walkable urban. This share of new development is up from only 6 percent in the 1990s real estate cycle and 12 percent from the 2001-2008 cycle.”
The studies measured new income property development: Office, retail, hotel, rental apartments and for-sale residential.
“If this emerging trend in favor of walkable urbanism plays out in Michigan as it has in the other metro areas studied by GeorgeWashington University—Atlanta, Boston, and Washington, D.C.—it will mean an historic shift away from the drivable development patterns that have dominated development for the latter half of the 20th century,” the report said. “The state could return to the walkable urban development pattern that predominated before World War II.”