Evanston, a walkable success

The suburbs that have continued to prosper during the downturn share many attributes with the best urban neighborhoods: walkability, vibrant street life, density and diversity. The clustering of people and firms is a basic engine of modern economic life. When interesting people encounter each other, they spark new ideas and accelerate the formation of new enterprises. Renewing the suburbs will require retrofitting them for these new ways of living and working.

…These are the places where Americans are clamoring to live and where housing prices have held up even in the face of one of the greatest real-estate collapses in modern memory. More than that, as my colleague Charlotta Mellander and I found when we looked into the statistics, the U.S. metro areas with walkable suburbs have greater economic output and higher incomes, more highly educated people, and more high-tech industries, to say nothing of higher levels of happiness.

– Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, on the popularity of walkable “edge cities” — “satellite centers where people could live, work and shop without ever having to set foot in major cities.”

According to Florida, Evanston is the fourth most successful walkable suburb in the country, ranked by education levels, per capita income and travel time to work. This summer, Joe Zekas and Andy Kiener spent a morning walking from the Grand Bend at Green Bay condos at 1223 Emerson St to the Evanston Farmers Market and the stores and restaurants of Evanston’s vibrant downtown. Watch those videos and more from Grand Bend in the embedded playlist above, or at YouTube.

Grand Bend currently offers one-bedroom condos priced from the $190s, two-bedrooms from the $290s, and three-bedrooms from the $570s.

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