The 15-Minute Community

SIR, a Richmond-based consultancy, conducted a national study for the Virginia Department of Transportation among people who either have moved or are considering moving more than 100 miles from where they live now. Both mover types said their “ideal” neighborhood would be one where everything they need — work, school, stores, restaurants, and services are within 15-minute travel time from home. This is consistent with other studies from the National Association of Realtors® which show a shift in neighborhood preferences away from spread out, where you have to drive everywhere, to close-in, where you can walk to places.

The implication for builders, developers and policymakers is to focus on in-fill and making the most use of the available land. “Activity centers” with services, housing, and offices will be needed all around a region, not just in one or two areas. Libbie Mill Midtown is a good example of a new type of activity center.

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