Philly’s Walkability Helped City Survive the Recession. Really.

Center City Philadelphia has long had a reputation as one of the most “walkable” areas of the country—it’s easy to head out the door and find groceries, coffee, or your local school in just a few minutes. Now it turns out that quality may have spared the city the worst of the housing bubble crash that brought about the recession at the end of 2007. The authors of a new study say prices in Philadelphia say housing prices declined just 20 percent in the urban core after the recent crash—compared to nearly 33 percent in the “low density” suburbs. Angie Schmitt writes: “The authors attribute the new dynamic to rising energy prices, as well as the revitalization of central city Philadelphia and shifting housing preferences, especially among seniors and young people. The findings are consistent with other studies that have found walkable, transit-accessible places have bounced back stronger from this housing downturn than more car-centric areas.” [DC Streets Blog]