ATLANTA — Today, people increasingly expect the areas in which they live and work – urban as well as suburban – to be "walkable". As a result, corporate real estate executives will need to factor walkable locales into the site location decision-making process, according to a new white paper from CoreNet Global.
"The idea that you don't have to get into a car to dine, shop, or even go to work is more and more attractive," according to the paper. "Many cities in Europe as well as Asia, as they grew, grew in a manner that encouraged mobility via mechanisms other than a car."
However, in many countries, including the United States, it is only in recent years that these concepts are taking firmer root. This is beginning to change, and the paper examines three ways in which this evolution will impact cities: changing demographics, corporate location strategy and sustainable cities.
Younger generations want to live and work in areas where amenities are more easily accessible and the trend is already driving where companies are locating their offices.
According to a survey conducted by Cushman & Wakefield and CoreNet Global, cost is the main driver for considering location decisions, across the globe; however, talent availability, public transport, and access to amenities and services feature in the top 5 for North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific.
According to a 2015 report by Smart Growth America, companies also choose to move downtown to build their corporate brand and identity, facilitate collaboration, and to be in close proximity to their business partners.
Leading this trend are companies including GE, McDonalds, and Motorola. GE is making the move from small town Connecticut to downtown Boston, while McDonalds and Motorola are moving to downtown Chicago. Plano, Texas attracted Toyota to relocate its headquarters from California with its new "urban-village." The village will incorporate a hotel, a food-hall and residential housing, and other walkable offerings. Other companies moving there include JP Morgan Chase, Liberty Mutual and FedEx.
Globally, cities take up only 3% of space, but are responsible for over 75 percent of all resource consumption and over half of the waste generated. Walkability also allows cities to have a higher population density, reducing the built area needed to keep the city running, thus reducing the resources needed and the waste and pollution generated.
An increased emphasis on health and wellbeing amongst the younger and urban populations means more people want to be able to walk or bike for the health benefits.
"Corporate real estate professionals will benefit from greater understanding of this mega-trend – growing urbanization – and how it will influence and shape location strategy, talent attraction and retention, and sustainability," according to the paper, which was written by Sonali Tare, Director of Knowledge and Research for CoreNet Global.
Contact David Harrison for a copy of the report.
About CoreNet Global
CoreNet Global is the world's leading professional association for corporate real estate (CRE) and workplace executives, service providers and economic developers. CoreNet Global's 10,000 members, who include 70% of the top 100 U.S. companies and nearly half of the Global 2000, meet locally, globally and virtually to develop networks, share knowledge, learn and thrive professionally. For more information, please visit www.corenetglobal.org.