[T]he notion that suburban sprawl wins out simply because it is so popular is belied by housing cost data. People live where they can afford to live, and if they can’t afford to live in a walkable area, then they’ll opt to live in sprawl rather than go homeless. And once there they’ll act to defend their investment by fighting development projects that may have unpredictable impacts on the value of nearby single-family homes.
Meanwhile, Kevin asks if there are walkable areas built outside of urban centers. Yes, there are. In suburban Washington, municipalities have been extraordinarily successful building walkable neighborhoods around Metro stations. This is an increasingly popular model around the country.