Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Urban and Public Affairs

Committee Chair

Gilderbloom, John I.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Koven, Steven

Committee Member

Koven, Steven

Committee Member

Simpson, David

Committee Member

Squires, Gregory


Pedestrian areas--Kentucky--Louisville; Pedestrians--Kentucky--Louisville; Walking--Social aspects; Walking--Economic aspects


Until 2008, there has not been a reliable measure of the social, health, and economic impact of walkable neighborhoods. This changed dramatically when scholars were able to quantify walkability, which measures how accessible daily living activities are by foot. However, most of these studies focus on mega cities, sections of cities or on random parcel data. Absent from the literature is the impacts of walkability on mid-size cities. This dissertation seeks to fill this void by examining the impacts of walkability on neighborhood housing valuation, foreclosures, vacancy rates and socio-economic composition in Louisville, KY. This dissertation employs ordinary least squares regression, spatial regression and logistic regression in order to better understand the impact of walkability on neighborhoods in Louisville, KY from 2000-2010. The results indicate that walkability is correlated with higher housing values and lower foreclosures. In terms of socio-economic composition walkable neighborhoods tend to have smaller households compared to non-walkable neighborhoods in 2000 and 2010. Additionally, in 2010 walkable neighborhoods were more likely to have higher levels of poverty and a population with a younger median age. The results inform two policy areas for cities to pursue: 1) increase the diversity of land uses and 2) affordability options and standards.