Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Voting for our Feet

Some folks will pay a premium to walk in the suburbs. Just ask Merrill Lynch. When their lease was up in Rockville, Maryland, they chose to move to the new "mini city" of Pike and Rose — a decision that may have cost them 40 percent more than staying at their office park location.

It's a decision that's playing out over and over again in the Washington, D.C.-metro area and across the country. People are voting with their feet — or rather, voting for their feet. They're paying a premium to live and work where the vibe is urban and the body can move around without being encased in several thousand pounds of steel.

In some ways this isn't new at all. For centuries — heck, for millennia — humans have gathered to eat, work and walk. We do better when we're not tied to a desk or an untethered building in the middle of nowhere. We do better together (for the most part). And we do better in motion rather than stasis.

(Detail from the highly walkable city of Annapolis.)

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