Walkability has quickly become one of the most sought after amenities for homebuyers, so what makes a community walkable and why is it important?
Characteristics of Walkable Communities
1. Has services within walking distance of residents
2. Is pedestrian friendly
3. Has a higher density than a typical suburb
Case Study: Master Planned Community in Temple, TX
Parks at Westfield is located across the street between Tarver Elementary and North Belton Middle School, allowing children to walk or ride bikes to school.
It is also within walking distance to medical & dental services, restaurants, shopping, fitness, and more at Westfield Market. Stonehollow connects from Westfield Blvd to Hilliard Rd allowing residents to easily access A Plus Learning Academy and Crossroads Recreational Park.
As a master planned community, Westfield was designed to promote an active lifestyle by including green spaces & pocket parks, quaint streets, and connectivity to hike & bike trails.
The Parks features homes situated on 50' wide lots to create a higher density similar to communities in Austin, and the lot depth combined with the plan configurations are designed to offer more room in the back yard where you spend most of your time, rather than creating large side yards.
Not every community has to meet all of the criteria to offer the benefits of walkability. Because of their location, some communities might not allow you to walk to work or school, but by incorporating parks and trails in the master plan, you'll be able to get out & about in your neighborhood to enjoy time outside.
Walkable Community in Texas
Back to the first settlers, many come to Texas for the wide open spaces and as the second largest state in terms of square miles it can be difficult for some homebuyers to understand why some communities are built on narrow lots without lots of elbow room.
Most communities that have narrow lots are focused on creating a bit of urban density to promote active, walkable communities and typically, just because the lot is narrow, doesn't mean it is small - many lots are designed to accommodate various floor plan sizes and still have a considerable back yard.
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Benefits of Walkable Communities
There are many benefits of a walkable community, such as reducing emissions associated with driving, encouraging walking for a healthier lifestyle, higher levels of social interaction, and greater sense of community among residents.
Communities with green spaces & integrated parks offer additional benefits including improved air quality, reduced paved surfaces, groundwater recharge zones, and reduced soil erosion.
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