According to the US Census Bureau, over 200,000 people would…that's who!  The estimated population within the Richmond city limits for 2007 is 200,123.  (source:  Michael Paul Williams' column in this morning's RTD)

That's big news considering that the numbers had been on a downward trend for quite some time, and the last time it was above 200,000 was more than a decade ago.

There is certainly a movement of urban living, and we are seeing that not only in the movement back to Richmond City but also in the mixed-use developments popping up in the surrounding counties (i.e., West Broad Village).  The rise in gas prices and environmental concerns are only helping to fuel the movement back to more urban-style lifestyles.

There is a website, Walk Score, that I came across some time ago that jumped to mind when I was thinking about how people are trending towards more walkable lifestyles.  I ran a few addresses through their system to get the Walk Score.  The first one is our office in the Museum District, the others are houses or apartments that we manage (and that are currently available for rent).

For years people have loved to live in the city for all the conveniences of walking to their favorite bars and restaurants, and the ability to stroll over to festivals in the warmer months.  Now, it seems as though the numbers are supporting the anecdotes.  What are your favorite reasons for living in the city?  What is the Walk Score for your neighborhood?

6 Thoughts on “Who would want to live in the city?”

  • I, too, was heartened by this news–except we won’t really know for certain until the 2010 census is reported.
    The Richmond Free-Press reported in its March 27-29 issue that the Weldon-Cooper Center of the University of Virginia, a reliable source for demographic and statistical data, says that Richmond’s 2007 population stood at 195,300, an increase of 1,418 people from 2006, but still lower than 200,000.
    The Census Bureau uses births, deaths and migration; Weldon Cooper assesses births, school enrollment, housing stock, state income, tax returns and drivers licenses.
    So, varying ingredients make a different stew.
    We–my wife and I–live at the foot of Carytown, buying six years ago where we couldn’t today. We both enjoy pedestrian pleasures, with three grocery stores within a rolling cart or canvas bag-carrying distance; I walk to my office in the 2100 block of Broad Street and the Firehouse Theatre at 1609 Broad; she is able to teach classes at the Virginia Museum, Visual Arts Center and VCU without once getting into a car.
    We have a decrepit automobile and we consider it a bad week if we have to use it more than once or twice.
    Ours is not a life everyone wants, and unfortunately not one that all can afford. Though living in the fashionably scruffy or scruffily fashionable West of the Bouleveard South of Cary (WoBSoC), we’re conscious middle-aged bohemians, more than anything else.
    A-a-nd we get a Walk Score of 89! “It’s possible to get by without owning a car.” With the help of GRTC, that’s for the most part true.

  • Shockoe Slip (or around capital square on the southern side) where I am now has a walk score of 91. We are fortunate to have the Market at 2300 for weekly stuff, and a general store on main between 12/13th streets. Both are either close enough to go to, or GRTC-able.
    I used to live across from the downtown library, and that only reached an 80 (but didn’t feel like it since you were pressed for a really good grocery store… back to either Ukrops or the Market@TR).

  • Walk Score

    Richmond Business Commercial News reminded us about Walk Score, a site that “calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.”, part of an effort to recognize the benefits to our health,…

  • Harry: You bring up a good point that it isn’t cheap to live in a walkable neighborhood. I hadn’t thought of that aspect, but I hope that we can take the rising prices in walkable areas as a sign that the popularity of walkable neighborhoods will continue to grow. And as long as we’re counting wishes, let me add that I hope the trend will continue outwards from just the trendier areas and become a common theme in a cross-section of differently priced neighborhoods.

  • Page: Wow, a 91! That’s great. You’re right that grocery stores are sorely lacking in the city, with the notable exceptions of Carytown and the Market at 2300. I’ve heard some people clamoring for a Trader Joe’s to move into downtown Richmond. It’s a shame that the first one in RVA will be in Short Pump, but at least it’s a foothold that they can use to build on.

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