Affordable Housing and Walkable Neighborhoods: A National Urban Analysis

By Koschinsky, Julia; Talen, Emily | Cityscape, May 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

Affordable Housing and Walkable Neighborhoods: A National Urban Analysis


Koschinsky, Julia, Talen, Emily, Cityscape


Introduction

In the United States today, a significant danger exists that walkable neighborhoods with access to quality amenities are becoming scarce for low-income residents. For our purposes, walkable neighborhoods are those that offer walking access to sendees and amenities, including transit, and incorporate a pedestrian-oriented, interconnected street network. Our goal is to provide a foundation to better understand what kinds of strategies could be used to retain affordable housing in walkable neighborhoods. To do that, we need to know (1) where, and to what degree, walkability and affordability are in alignment; (2) whether the benefit of affordable housing in walkable neighborhoods is compromised by negative factors such as crime, poor market strength, and racial segregation; and (3) what other neighborhood factors are associated with walkability and affordability.

Although households in the United States walk the least of households in any industrialized nation (Bassett et ah, 2010), the benefits of walkability and walking are well documented (for summaries, see Brown and Plater-Zyberk, 2014; Talen and Koschinsky, 2014b, 2013). Demand for living in neighborhoods with walkable access to amenities and work has been increasing simultaneously (Nelson, 2013; U.S. DOT 2011, 2009). The same research shows that the supply of housing in such neighborhoods has not kept pace, however. Although all households face price premiums for living near amenities, accessible neighborhoods are especially hard to afford for low-income households (Adkins, 2013). The problem is exacerbated when trying to preserve affordable housing within the context of a walkable neighborhood, because walkable and affordable are often at odds. No longer is the goal a matter of producing affordable housing wherever cheap land is found, but affordability is sought in places where land, because of its accessibility, is likely to be more expensive.

Assisted housing for low-income tenants could be one of the mechanisms to increase the accessibility of walkable neighborhoods. It is one of the goals of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which administers the funding for some of the nation's largest subsidized housing programs (the U.S. Treasury administers others), to promote subsidized housing in socalled "sustainable communities;" that is, neighborhoods that are walkable, mixed use, diverse, and dense and that have good transit access. Recent HUD initiatives such as Choice Neighborhoods, financial support of the Center for Neighborhood Technology's Location Affordability Index, Office of Policy Development and Research studies on coordinating housing and transit, and Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities illustrate this focus.

A number of unresolved issues remain, however, and research on the link between affordable housing and walkable locations has uncovered a number of complexities (Been et al, 2010; Pendall and Parilla, 2011; Wen and Zhang, 2009). One issue is that neighborhoods can be walkable in terms of urban form dimensions like small block size and land use diversity, but such neighborhoods might not be the ones that offer the most employment access, the least crime, or the best schools. In some cases, the same indicators of walkability that are appreciated in higher income neighborhoods might not have the same value in neighborhoods where crime is prevalent (Talen and Koschinsky, 2011). Other studies found that the benefits of walkable access to amenities were not realized because of high levels of neighborhood crime (Cutts et al, 2009; Roman and Chalfin, 2008). What needs to be accounted for is whether the interaction between physical form and social disadvantage negates the positive effects of the built environment, or whether it results in some compromising factors that need to be mitigated. We stipulate that poor neighborhood quality lessens the potential benefits of walkability.

Accessibility per se turns out not to be linearly related to income, as we will demonstrate, because many suburban areas are characterized by higher incomes and less walkable access. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Affordable Housing and Walkable Neighborhoods: A National Urban Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.