Good urbanism leads to fewer foreclosures in Louisville

Foreclosures are lowest in historic, gentrifying, and new urban neighborhoods, according to a preliminary findings of an analysis of the Louisville, Kentucky, region.

While distance from downtown correlates with higher foreclosure rates, this didn’t hold true for Norton Commons, reports John Gilderbloom, a professor of urban and public affairs at the University of Louisville, author of Invisible City: Poverty, Housing and New Urbanism with University of Texas Press. Norton Commons, a new urban community 25 miles from downtown, had zero foreclosures “while a nearby outer-ring conventional suburb has the highest number of foreclosures with house prices averaging $200,000 or more,” Gilderbloom says.

In the city, Hope VI neighborhoods featuring new urban design, like Park DuValle and Liberty Green, along with HUD-sponsored university-community partnership neighborhoods, benefit from relatively low foreclosure rates.

Outer-ring suburbs, predominantly African-American neighborhoods without historic preservation, poor neighborhoods with lots of subprime mortgage access, and high-end houses far from downtown in conventional subdivisions suffer higher foreclosure rates, Gilderbloom says. African-American neighborhoods with historic preservation appear to perform well.