The Business Case for Complete Streets

The Australian Heart and Stroke Foundation makes the business case for complete streets and walkable neighbourhoods.  

The importance of a high quality streetscape can be seen by comparing it to the impact where the streetscape is poor. Oxford Street offices command a lower rent than the surrounding areas due to the concentration of traffic15 and in other London shopping streets, tenants on the asphalted side of a road compare their situation unfavourably with the tenants on the other side of the road, which is paved with York stone. One of the interviewees stated that the company has ‘considered disinvesting’ from areas where the streetscape was felt to be very poor.

A London study found that improvements in the street design quality can add an average of 4.9 per cent to retail rents of all shops and premises located on the high street. The most
important street elements for users were: lighting, footpath quality and maintenance, vehicles not parked on the footpath, provision of crossings, local area maps, information boards and signed routes.

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