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Miami Named Fifth-Most Walkable Large City in the Natio

by | May 09, 2015
A flurry of new mixed-use developments have turned Greater Miami into a more walkable area, a significant trend for homebuyers who increasingly want live, work, and play amenities. The impact of Miami's pedestrian transformation can be seen in Miami's rising single-family home and condominium transactions, which increased 10 and 4.2 percent, respectively, year-over-year in March 2015

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Christopher Zoller
2015 Residential President
MIAMI Association of Realtors®

A flurry of new mixed-use developments have turned Greater Miami into a more walkable area, a significant trend for homebuyers who increasingly want live, work, and play amenities. The impact of Miami's pedestrian transformation can be seen in Miami's rising single-family home and condominium transactions, which increased 10 and 4.2 percent, respectively, year-over-year in March 2015, according to the MIAMI Association of REALTORS ® (MIAMI).

Walk Score, the company that produces the go-to metric for walkable cities, recently named Miami as the fifth-most walkable large city in the U.S. Walk Score calculated its rankings based on walking routes, pedestrian friendliness, and neighborhood and population characteristics.

Walk Score highlighted Miami's recent condo boom and its organic creation of neighborhood-based walkable districts. Miami was the lone Florida city to make the Walk Score's Top-10. New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia comprised the top-four most walkable large U.S. cities.

Miami's ranking is significant in regards to millennials, who will soon outnumber Baby Boomers as the nation's largest living generation. Millennials, or those between 18 to 34 years old, are entering the peak home buying period. Millennials, who later this year are expected to reach a population of 75.3 million, compared to Baby Boomers' 74.9 million, prefer to live in walkable cities, several studies said.

New developments in places such as Brickell have created a downtown vibrancy. Since 2011, 12 condominium towers with 1,771 units have been completed in Miami-Dade County east of I-95, according to Cranespotters.com and MIAMI's April 20 report.

Other Miami neighborhoods such as trendy Wynwood have become more pedestrian-friendly with new art galleries, start-up businesses, cafes, and restaurants. The neighboring Design District is developing a high-end, walkable urban mall with 60 stores and restaurants set to open in mid-2017.

Car2Go, an hourly car sharing service, has been operating in the City of Miami for three years. Miami Downtown Development Authority's Biscayne Green project plans to change heavily-trafficked Biscayne Boulevard from an eight- to a six-lane street so pedestrians don't have to travel so far to cross.

The expansion of Tri-Rail commuter trains into downtown Miami and All Aboard Florida, a downtown Miami-to-Orlando passenger rail project, should encourage a more pedestrian lifestyle.

America's top-10 Walkable Cities with their respective Walk Score: 1.) New York, 87.6; 2.) San Francisco, 83.9; 3.) Boston, 79.5; 4.) Philadelphia, 76.5; 5.) Miami, 75.6 ; 6.) Chicago, 74.8; 7.) Washington, D.C., 74.1; 8.) Seattle, 70.8; 9.) Oakland, 68.5; 10.) Baltimore, 66.2.

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