“Walkable” communities promote health and wealth

The concept of a “walkable neighbourhood” where all amenities are within easy walking distance has come to life at Century City and is a key factor behind the rapid sell-out of recent residential developments, says John Chapman a director of Rabie Property Group, the developer.

“Our three latest residential projects all sold out more than a year ahead of completion. The most recent – Mayfair comprising 136 apartments worth over R200 million – was sold out within days of the launch.

“And there is no doubt Mayfair’s proximity to Canal Walk Shopping Centre was a major contributing factor to the swift sales, as was the case with Quaynorth and Quayside. Ashton Park’s proximity to the Curro Private School was a major selling point for that development.”

Chapman says that although all components of Century City are within easy walking distance of each other, it had become evident that buyers were prepared to pay a premium for homes close to certain amenities in the precinct.

He says that “walkable” neighbourhoods and cities where all amenities are within easy walking distance reduces driving, associated emissions and living costs and research has now shown they are also good for your health.

“A recent article in Better Cities and Towns highlighted three important studies published in the United States during 2014, which examined different aspects of compact, walkable and mixed-use neighbourhoods and cities and compared these to published government health data.

“These studies all found communities that encourage walking are strongly associated with reduced rates of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. The researchers said the results held up even when the studies were controlled to eliminate other factors that could facilitate good health such as age, gender, income and education levels.”

Chapman says that not only are walkable communities good for your physical health, they also represent good investments as demand for these properties is definitely on the rise.

“We can see this in our new development sales and in the speed at which investors are able to secure tenants or on sell their properties in Century City.

“And another thing, there is no doubt that walking around your community brings you in touch with other members of your community which improves community camaraderie and general awareness and these factors in turn help improve security,” says Chapman.

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