Walkability – its not only good for your health and the environment

Dense,  walkable city neighborhoods – they’re not only  good for your health and the environment, they are also good for the economy!

Richard Florida in The Atlantic Cities discusses his new study for the Martin Prosperity Institute suggesting that walkable neighborhoods that have become the new hubs of America’s tech scene. [The Urban Shift in the U.S. Start-Up Economy, in One Chart]

Florida reports that several trends are behind this shift to cities by start-ups:

Firms want access to talent, and talented people like to cluster in dense urban areas with thick labor markets, abundant amenities and services, and a vibrant social life. Density is also much more efficient for young companies who want to rent cheap office space and offer employees access to the amenities like gyms, restaurants, and coffee shops that they’d have to provide for themselves on a suburban campus. And these companies can now thrive in smaller urban spaces, as much of tech is increasingly focused on software, apps, and social media, which do not require large campuses.

There are downsides  – witness the tension in increasingly unaffordable cities such as San Francisco.

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