Find Your Home’s Walk Score
is a website that rates a neighborhood’s walkability. Google Maps provides the backbone of the service; Walk Score maps out all of the amenities nearby and calculates a numerical score. An area’s Walk Score ranges from 0 (Driving Only, your life is miserable) to 100 (Walker’s Paradise, ditch the car!). The site is intended for real estate agents, home buyers, and renters to assess the foot-friendliness of a new home. Real estate agents are encouraged to post a property’s Walk Score on the listing’s website to flaunt what’s available nearby.
From Walk Score:
Picture a walkable neighborhood. You lose weight each time you walk to the grocery store. You stumble home from last call without waiting for a cab. You spend less money on your car—or you don’t own a car. When you shop, you support your local economy. You talk to your neighbors.
There are a variety of factors that improve a neighborhood’s Walk Score. Proximity of stores, public space, schools, and work places boost the score. Other amenities, such as pedestrian-friendly design, a town- or city-center, and dense development also weigh into the equation.
Walking-friendly neighborhoods promote health in the individual, in family relationships, and via social interactions with the community. Sprawl kills.
Two samples from Walk Score:
I found the tool to be a cool way to find stuff near my current home, and to take a deeper look at ways to avoid using a car. In spite of living in the stretched-out city of Albuquerque, my downtown home scored an impressive 78. Apparently there are cafes, grocery stores, etc. within a one-mile radius that I didn’t even know were there.
The best news of all about Walk Score: more and more people value centralized communities and the ability to walk rather than drive places. If this truly does become a factor in peoples’ housing decisions, the shape of our cities and towns will change for the better and carectomies will abound!
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