Litman, T. A., (2003). Economic value of walkability. Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

Walkable communities are beneficial to their residents by providing public cost savings, more efficient land use, and improved quality of life. Unfortunately, the exact benefits walkability provides is hard to quantify and therefor often overlooked in public policy. Without accounting for the value of designing a walkable community residents suffer low quality open spaces such as parking facilities, wide roads, and single use facilities. Walkable design encourages high density development which increases land use efficiently by devoting less land to pavement. Litman speculates that walking is also undervalued because it is stigmatized has being for the lower class. However evaluation methods can reveal the value of walkable design. Valuation methods include contingent valuation surveys, geographic information systems analysis, potential transportation cost savings, and hedonic pricing studies. Studies using these methods found "automobile-dependent communities devote 50% more to transportation [costs]" (p. 5). Finally, there are also numerous health benefits to be considered.


In his paper, Liman discusses some of the barriers, costs and benefits to making non-motorized transportation a more common form of travel in urban societies. Due to statistic inefficiencies, walking is often highly undervalued as a mode of transportation, but by using contingent valuation surveys, the true value of walkability can be more effectively realized. Some of the advantages to walking that Litman identifies are lower consumer costs per mile traveled, lower rates of pollution and traffic congestion, and less harmful externalities. Walkability improvements also support the health of local economies by allowing consumers to spend less on vehicles and fuel, and more on local goods and services.