Technically, one supposes that all communities are walkable, but not all walkable communities are equal.
The true measure of a walkable community is the number of benefits it provides residents. And having a walkable neighborhood can profoundly affect how well residents enjoy a particular apartment community.
Some aspects of an excellent walkable community should be apparent—attractive buildings, safe streets, and friendly neighbors.
But there’s a lot more that makes a community walkable in the best sense of the word.
A good community should be able to provide for all of life’s little conveniences and desires, to whit, good food, and shopping. There should be a choice of restaurants ranging from dine-in to takeout, with various levels of quality and cost. This gives residents a chance to socialize, relax, and take a break from their own lives.
And when there’s a need for supplies—be it food for the refrigerator or clothes for the closet, convenient retail shopping is another component of a good walkable community. Ideally, the community can also include a pharmacy and all-purpose retail store.
Some walkable communities come about organically as people and businesses come and go. Some are designed to appeal to existing residents and business owners or to attract new ones.
In either case, crumbling, narrow sidewalks, poor lighting, lack of parking, absence of bicycling lanes, and other issues can all take away from how much a neighborhood is enjoyed.
Wide sidewalks, designated parking lots, elegant and practical streetlights, and—perhaps most importantly—clean and fresh-looking building facades do a lot to help bring people out of their apartments and out exploring the community.
Parks (both for people and pets), causeways, public squares, and courtyards give residents safe places to gather, play, or relax. These sites serve well for public performances, picnic spots, or just outdoor areas for residents to linger when the weather is nice. All the better if these sites and the streets leading to them are lined with trees and other greenery.
Even though they’re called “walking” communities, access to other forms of transportation makes a significant difference. This can include bike lanes and public transportation options such as buses or trains.
Good parking is also a must for those driving in for work or recreation.
A walking neighborhood consists of more than apartment complexes, condos, and storefronts. It’s not uncommon to see a corporate headquarters sitting next to an apartment building, with a row of townhouses across the street and a small movie theater on the corner.
It’s about more than just variety for variety’s sake. More, it’s about the wide range of people who come to a walkable neighborhood—residents, business people, business patrons, retail and restaurant workers, and commuters. Everyone can enjoy a walking community whether they’re going to work or school, getting a bite to eat, food shopping, or perusing the local bookstore.
A walkable neighborhood does best when it appeals to as many different people as possible. So, while the residents are the ones to stand to gain the most from a well-put-together community, everyone stands to benefit in terms of commerce, socializing, and a pleasing work environment.
No one wants to stay cooped up in their apartment. People want to experience life, and having an ideal walkable neighborhood can help provide that. Find one today and browse our communities!