How many steps have you taken today? This might have been an odd question not so long ago, but nowadays it’s common. Step counters have basically strapped themselves to our wrists and they’re here to stay. We live in an age of technology and medical aid schemes have come up with clever ways to get us to move more.
Walking regularly isn’t just good for us, it’s also good for the environment because it means we’re driving less. That’s why town planners and city authorities are making sure that new developments, existing neighbourhoods, and previously under-resourced areas, are made more pedestrian friendly. As we see more and more benefits from this, property buyers and tenants have also started demanding walkability, and developers have responded.
See it in practice at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. This popular mixed-use development is owned and operated by the Amdec Group, and specifically designed to make it easy to get around on foot. So, for anyone who lives, works or spends their leisure time here, there’s no need to drive to get around. Apart from convenience, walkability also helps to create a sense of community because people are out and about. Of course, it also makes these areas safer because there’s constant activity and nowhere is left vacant or unused.
Areas designed for walkability generally improve quality of life. There are a number of reasons for this:
• It’s an easy way to get regular exercise, and to exercise outdoors. This feeds into a healthy lifestyle overall.
• You save money by not having to drive, take public transport, call on a ride hailing service or pay for parking as everything is within a radius small enough to cover on foot.
• The potential for frustration and fatigue is less because you’re not stuck in traffic or commuting regularly.
• Businesses in a walkable neighbourhood often do well because there is usually a variety of shops, restaurants, hotels and more. The area appeals to different groups of people who frequent different businesses and they all gain from each other’s presence.
• Thanks to fewer vehicles on the roads, pollution levels decrease and air quality improves.
• With people out and about on a regular basis, it’s safer to spend time here.
These are some of the factors that make for a better life in an urban environment, and why we’d all do ourselves a great favour by walking more.
If a walkable neighbourhood sounds like a good place to live, work or invest, please contact Tersia Taljaard on 087 897 0222 or email email@example.com to discuss opportunities at Melrose Arch, or any other of the Amdec Group’s developments.