WALKSCORE: Calculate Your Neighborhood’s Walkability!

by , 08/21/07

WALKSCORE, walkable communities, walking, benefits of walking, green transportation, eco transport, green urban planning

In the way of eco-minded transportation, it really doesn’t get much greener than your own two feet- ah yes, those two built-in vehicles that we all-too often forget these days. Aside from the lack of carbon output, walking is great exercise and allows you to be more engaged with your surrounding environment and community. In fact, “walkability” is a primary principle of good urban design, and a quality that can now be quantitatively measured using Walkscore, a website that calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. (My urban apartment scored a 91/100!)

Calculate your home or office’s Walkscore here >

Walkscore also does a great job in explaining the importance of walking and some of the principles of good walkable neighborhoods. They list benefits from better health and reduction in greenhouses to more qualitative things like increased social capital and stronger local businesses.

And they paint a lovely 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.”

I for one think walking is the way to go, especially if you live in a place with a score of 60 or above- why hop in a car when you’ve got everything you need within the extent of your own body?! And leave the iPod at home too- talk to your neighbors and take in all the sights, smells, and sounds your community has to offer. You might be pleasantly surprised.

+ WalkScore

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  1. greenitnow May 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Darya – that is the problem, dont you understand? It is not sustainable and hardly livable. Walkable communities exist and people want to live there and not drive when they can walk or bike. That is sustainable. Drive score only enforces the dinosaur mentality of non-green, non-sustainable lifestyles.

  2. Darya November 10, 2007 at 9:18 am

    I can’t argue that walk score is convenient, but nowadays more and more people drive cars and they are interested also in drive score. This type of service you can find on http://www.fizber.com. Drive Score shows a map of what establishments are in a property’s neighborhood and calculates a Drive Score based on the number of places within a convenient driving distance. Homes are often located in an area where restaurants, libraries, grocery stores, hospitals and other businesses are easier to get to by car than on foot.

  3. Why not walk? September 6, 2007 at 8:12 am

    […] Walkscore: Calculate Your Neighborhood’s Walkability at Inhabitat […]

  4. The Daily Sprout | Gree... August 23, 2007 at 11:50 am

    […] Check out this web site that allows you to score the ‘walk score’ of addresses — Inhabitat, and […]

  5. Sherwood Johnson August 22, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    How can they IGNORE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?! This dramatically extends the range one can “walk” and it runs anyway. It also dramatically impacts the location a person would be willing to live without (or even with) a car. Accuracy issues aside, this renders the site nearly useless – just a fun gimmick. A neat idea that needs to finish the job.

  6. Bryce August 22, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    This excellent concept could definitely use a bit of updating and refinement in version 2.0. That said, it completely confirmed what I already knew about the Midwestern metro area where I have lived for years. The home I’m in now is not in a walkable place. The home I’m moving to in 2 weeks is twice as walkable as the place I’m presently living.

    It is one of many useful tools for those who are house or apartment hunting.

  7. Ben N August 22, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Ditto. I get an great score for a suburban area (80/100), but it includes a grocery chain that isn’t there anymore, and doesn’t include the year-old speakeasy theater half a mile away. Or, for that matter, the horsetrack. It also classifies a 2-storey Target as a pharmacy. In the end, we are all at the mercy of Google.

  8. Ulrike August 22, 2007 at 11:40 am

    It seemed fairly accurate for my neighborhood, but the program cannot distinguish between roads with sidewalks and roads without. It thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to take a short stroll along a 4 lane highway.

  9. Nick Simpson August 22, 2007 at 8:23 am

    I’m with Angelo – VERY rough around the edges. Doesn’t include half of the local shops and services that I have nearby and therefore the area gets a poor score. Whatever database it’s using needs some heavy updating.

    If it weren’t for this though this tool would be great

  10. Earth2Tech » Blog... August 21, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    […] Check out this web site that allows you to score the ‘walk score’ of addresses — Inhabitat, and […]

  11. Angelo August 21, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Be careful with this site. A lot of us around the office checked out where we live, and where we would like to live in town. I think two really big misses is that it doesn’t take into account public transportation (bus or light rail), and it’s at the mercy of what businesses have been added to Google Maps. (A 7-11 doesn’t really count in my book for a local “grocery” store.)

    Then there are the things that are less tangible: Safety. Is a neighborhood safe?

    It’s very fun and an ingenious idea, but still very rough around the edges.

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