2023 Walkability and Housing Value - Land Economics Foundation Report

 walking in the neighborhood

L.A. Merlin, S. Bourassa, M. Hoesli, and J.R. Renne report findings from their project, A Comparison of the Impacts of Alternative Walkability Measures on House Values. 
Recent research on the relationship between walkability and housing value has predominantly relied on Walk Score as the primary measure. However, Walk Score has limitations, being a proprietary measure with opaque calculation and cost implications for large-scale data analysis. This report addresses these concerns by exploring alternative walkability measures and their ability to explain housing value in comparison to Walk Score. The study analyzes 18 walkability variables, investigating their impact on housing prices in Seattle and Miami, while also examining how poverty levels mediate this relationship. Data from 29,942 housing transactions in Miami-Dade and 5,434 in Seattle reveal significant variation in the marginal effect of walkability between the two cities. Some variables show similar performance to Walk Score, with the EPA Index exhibiting a particularly noteworthy impact. Moreover, the study identifies freely available walkability variables that could effectively replace Walk Score in hedonic analyses. The findings suggest potential areas for future research, including investigating the influence of walkability on property values across diverse city forms and constructing a specialized walkability index tailored to housing value considerations.

South Florida and Sea Level Rise Report


Protecting South Florida: A Discussion of Sea Level Rise, Property and Regional Planning , aims to help local governments protect the region’s real property, valued at more than $833 billion. In addition, the South Florida region, comprised of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, generates more than $337 billion in personal income annually. A number of choices to protect South Florida from flooding and other climate hazards exist; however, doing so requires the organization of localities for cooperation and starts with accurate and understandable information that can be conveyed to all stakeholders. The report authors, Hank Savitch, Josh Savislak, and John L. Renne, summarize the issues and clarify alternatives for local governments responding to sea-level rise. 

Resilience for state DOTs


John Renne, Brian Wolshon, Pamela Murray-Tuite and Anurag Pande published a new article in  Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment :  Emergence of resilience as a framework for state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) in the United States. 

Transportation Solutions for Students


FAU has received a $375,000 implementation and research grant from  The Kresge Foundation  to identify, address and evaluate transportation solutions for students. Read more. 

Visualizing Sea Level Rise Impacts in Transportation Planning


SURP Graduate Student Amir Koleini and Outreach Coordinator Serena Hoermann presented research by Professor John L. Renne, PhD, AICP at Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) 9th International Visualization in Transportation Symposium: Visualization in Action on November, 5-6, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Read more. 

Evacuating Carless and Vulnerable Populations: How prepared are Florida Counties?


Dr. John Renne, AICP, presented  a research poster   Evacuating Carless and Vulnerable Populations: How prepared are Florida Counties?  at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) Conference in Greenville, SC on October 24-27, 2019. The interactive poster highlighted  Dr. Renne’s research  with doctoral student Andrea Ramos, which examined levels of preparedness for evacuating, for example, people with special needs and people with pets.

South Florida Transit-Oriented Development


As part of a study on South Florida Transit-Oriented Development (SFTOD), CUES prepared two reports for the South Florida Regional Planning Council in partnership with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (operating Tri-Rail). Funding was awarded for SFTOD through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA’s) Transit Oriented Development Planning Pilot Program.

Business Plan for a South Florida Transit-Oriented Development Fund:Potential for Infill Development along the Tri-Rail Coastal Link Corridor.
For more information, please contact   Dr. John Renne .

South Florida Transit-Oriented Development:Evaluation of Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in Potential Tri-Rail Coastal Link Station Areas

For more information, please contact   Dr. Fred Bloetscher

Hardest Hit by Hurricane Michael and Least Prepared to Evacuate


A study released by  Florida Atlantic University ’s  Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions ( CUES ) found that the vast majority of counties in the Florida Panhandle were  less prepared for emergency evacuation  compared to the rest of the state. Read more. 

Wired quotes Dr. John Renne


An article that was published on September 14, 2018 in Wired, “WHEN IT’S TIME TO EVACUATE, CITIES STRUGGLE TO HELP THOSE WHO CAN’T DRIVE,” features Dr. John L. Renne’s research on evacuating vulnerable populations and provides a link to a recent paper he published. Read more. 

Meet Ph.D. Student Andrea Ramos

andrea Andrea Ramos  is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Administration.  Her research on evacuation preparedness in Florida with Dr. John L. Renne recently received national attention . She received a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Florida Atlantic University and a Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of Miami. Read more.




Visualizing Sea Level Rise Impacts in Transportation


HoloMaps app for HoloLens. credit: Taqtile

This project will test and compare new technologies on individuals in community-meeting settings in South Florida to test if 3D technology helps residents better understand the impacts of sea level rise on transportation infrastructure and communities. Read more. 

The State of Downtown West Palm Beach, FL


The State of Downtown West Palm Beach, Florida is the subject of a new report prepared by FAU’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions.  The report, prepared by CUES director and associate professor Dr. John L. Renne and graduate research assistant Amanda Kerns, examines population characteristics, provides a market analysis, walkability and placemaking ratings, and a comparison of Downtown West Palm Beach to 46 other downtowns across the United States.  Read the report.

Incubating Solutions to Community Challenges


CUES director John Renne was featured in the Fall 2017 issue of Owl Research & Innovation (page 39). In partnership with the Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES), CUES invited the cities of Hollywood and West Palm Beach to participate in the inaugural FAU Incubator for Resilient & Sustainable Communities to address the challenges of climate change and aging infrastructure.

CUES faculty John Renne and assistant professor Louis Merlin were named as leading researchers in the field of transportation (page 20) along with Eric Dumbaugh, associate director of the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety, co-directing the National University Transportation Center with the goal of improving road safety (page 17).


Elsevier’s TRD Journal announces new section on Disasters and Resilience

dis   aster

Elsevier announces the formation of a new section of the international journal  Transportation Research D  focusing on  Disasters and Resilience . This section will be edited by Karl Kim (University of Hawaii), John Renne (Florida Atlantic University) and Brian Wolshon (Louisiana State University). Read more.