Recent investments in active transportation infrastructure projects, such as trails, bike lane networks, and bike-sharing systems, have not only made walking and bicycling safer and more convenient, they have served to support nearby real estate development.
Two new active transportation project profiles released by ULI showcase the growing synergies between real estate development and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure investments.
The profiles highlight how bike-friendly amenities have supported project success at Blue Dot Place, the first multiunit residential building constructed in downtown Colorado Springs since 1960, and how investments in safe and convenient bicycle infrastructure in Amsterdam over the past half-century have supported reduced traffic congestion and new development opportunities.
Blue Dot Place
Completed in 2016, Blue Dot features several amenities that support active lifestyles, including secure indoor bike storage and a bike maintenance workroom. The project’s central location allows residents to access shops, restaurants, workplaces, parks, and nearby outdoor recreation destinations on foot or by bicycle.
“Our walkable, bike-friendly downtown location is our best asset. Our residents want to be able to walk to local restaurants and shops and to have easy access to area destinations without having to drive,” says Blue Dot Place developer Darsey Nicklasson, principal of DHN Planning & Development LLC.
“Providing features to accommodate bike ownership at Blue Dot helps to make an active lifestyle possible for our residents and ultimately supports the success of our project. Many of our residents have even reduced the number of cars they own.”
Building a Truly Bike-Friendly City: Lessons from Amsterdam
Amsterdam has long been recognized as one of the world’s great bicycling cities, and for good reason—the city is home to more bikes than people and a higher percentage of trips within the city are made by bike than by car.
While Amsterdam residents have long had a history of cycling to meet their daily needs, a cultural preference for two-wheeled transportation alone does not explain why the city so vastly outpaces its peers in nearly every measure of bicycle use. Instead, over the past half-century, local advocates, elected officials, and other stakeholders have worked to reverse the city’s post–World War II embrace of the automobile by crafting bike-friendly policies and directing funding toward infrastructure that makes meeting one’s daily transportation needs by bike a safe, convenient, and even obvious choice.
Beyond merely shaping area travel patterns, the dominance of bicycling in Amsterdam has positive implications for public health and environmental sustainability, and directly influences decisions regarding land use and development.
Additional information, including profiles of active transportation real estate development and infrastructure projects can be found here and in the report Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier.
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ULI is grateful to the Colorado Health Foundation for its support of this project and the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative.