The Importance of Building Rehabilitation
A study was recently done in three cities (Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, DC) to measure how neighborhoods are affected by the presence of older buildings. The study used spatial analysis to determine the role that building age plays on a neighborhood by measuring forty performance metrics. Some of the criteria included cultural vibrancy, real estate performance, transportation options and the intensity of human activity in the area. The study found that neighborhoods that protect older buildings are more culturally vibrant, economically sustainable and rich in opportunities than neighborhoods with new developments. Older buildings have a host of benefits, including being highly walkable, attracting a younger age group, allowing cultural outlets to thrive, supporting local economy as opposed to chain businesses and therefore allowing greater opportunities for entrepreneurship.
This study is the first of two phases in a multi-year project. The second phase will be looking at markets with high levels of vacancy and disinvestment.
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