Emeryville earns highest Walkability-to-Affordability ratio score

Published On July 29, 2013 | By Rob Arias | News & Commentary, Planning & Development

The fabled Greenway across our city has stalled (I just got word that the Peladeau park plans have been delayed by another year), the Bike-Ped Bridge to Bay Street has languished in litigation for years, the EBBC is accusing the city of reneging on commitments for bike-friendly improvements along San Pablo & even the ECCL plan wants to remove a bike path from its proposal. Despite all this, A recent ZipRealty (coincidentally a business whose headquarters are located in Emeryville) distributed a press release ranking Emeryville as having the highest Walkability/Affordability ratio score amongst cities close to San Francisco which include the nine counties considered within The Bay Area. Nonetheless, Walkability & Bike-ability still remain a key component of the vision of Emeryville and a goal of the General Plan.

ZipRealty partnered with WalkScore.com to create a formula for determining this ranking. The WalkScore ratings used in this study are calculated by assessing the walkability of approximately every block across a city or neighborhood, and may vary slightly by specific addresses. WalkScore defines cities with a score of 70 or higher as “Very Walkable”. Home Price Value has always been popular (if not scarce in the Bay Area) but Walkability has become an increasingly important factor in the real-estate market. Home buyers are increasingly paying more attention to what retailers, restaurants and amenities are nearby, as well as sidewalk and road safety. Walking-distance amenities raised values by as much as $3,000 for a one-point increase in rankings, Walk Score found.

“The trend occurring in urban areas is moving toward less dependency on cars and a greater commitment to live more sustainably,” says Walk Score CEO Josh Herst “Furthermore, people in walkable neighborhoods weigh six to 10 pounds less than those who don’t. Walk Score has also done extensive research showing that walkable places make people happier and healthier. Finally, short commutes reduce stress levels and give people more free time to be involved in their communities.”

The top 3 most walkable cities with the most affordable homes according to the study are:

CITY

Emeryville
Downtown San Jose
Albany

MEDIAN PRICE

$388,888
$508,450
$622,500

WALK SCORE

80
74
86

While median home prices of $380,000-625,000 in Emeryville, San Jose and Albany are high relative to average U.S. prices, which stood at $280,500 in the 24 metro areas surveyed by ZipRealty as of June 30, those local home prices are relatively affordable compared to the Bay Area median home price of $620,000. “You can buy a home priced well under the Bay Area median home price average in the cities we ranked, and these places are all very walkable,” adds ZipRealty CEO and President Lanny Baker.

Read More on WSJ.com →

Further Reading & Resources:

How Walkable Is Your Neighborhood?
Why We Pay More for Walkable Neighborhoods
How Walkability Raises Home Values in U.S. Cities [PDF]

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

One Response to Emeryville earns highest Walkability-to-Affordability ratio score

  1. evilleresident says:

    Agree that walkability is part of what makes Emeryville a great place to live. Our Planning Commission seems to be very committed to bike/ped walkways and greenways as described in the General Plan. As the Sherwin-Williams development is planned, it will be critical for us residents to ensure that the parks, greenways, and bike/ped features are included as outlined in the General Plan and Park Avenue District Plan.

Leave a Reply