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The capital value of pedestrianization in Asia's commercial cityscape: Evidence from office towers and retail streets

Jin Murakami, Caterina Villani and Gianni Talamini

Transport Policy, 2021, vol. 107, issue C, 72-86

Abstract: Asian cities have increasingly been promoting the creation of walkable built environments as a catalyst for local economic development in global competition. However, the economic influences of pedestrianization are still debatable without sufficient quantitative assessments in Asia's commercialized cityscape along with mega-rail projects, high-rise buildings, and traffic-choked streets. This research examines the net capitalization effects of skywalk network and pedestrian zone schemes on office towers and retail streets using the case of Hong Kong. The sets of hedonic regression models in a quasi-experimental research framework show mixed results. The expansion of skywalk networks produced positive capitalization effects on podium-level office units connected by footbridges near metro rail exits, while having insignificant impacts on street-level retail units. The models also reveal that the implementation of pedestrian zone schemes generated insignificant capitalization effects on street-level retail units regardless of rail proximity. The evidence gives some credence to the notion that the creation of walkable built environments in Asian cities would contribute to capital accumulation through mega-rail plus international office tower projects. However, the findings also infer that pedestrianization initiatives in global competition would lead to neither commercial revitalization nor gentrification on local retail streets around metro rail stations.

Keywords: Pedestrianization; Rail accessibility; Vertical urbanism; Economic development; Commercial gentrification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2021.04.017

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