Walking matters." A walkable community promotes better health, reduction in greenhouse gases, more transportation options, increased social capital and stronger local businesses." Treehugger has noted before that suburbs make you fat because it's hard to walk anywhere. Or, as St. Augustine noted, "Solvitur Ambulando." So how walkable is it where you live? Find out with Walk Score, which "uses a patent-pending algorithm to calculate the walkability of an address based on:
* The distance to walkable locations near an address.
* Calculating a score for each of these locations.
* Combining these scores into one easy to read Walk Score."
You type in your address and it puts it on a Google map and gives it a score. 70 to 90 is very walkable; 90 to a hundred is a walker's paradise. We nailed a 78! Use this fabulous tool before your next move. ::Walk Score found by ::Odograph at Grist
From their website:
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
Walkable communities tend to have the following characteristics:
* A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a discernable center, whether it's a shopping district, a main street, or a public space.
* Density: The neighborhood is compact, rather than spread out, which brings people closer to stores and jobs and makes public transportation more cost effective.
* Mixed income, mixed use: Housing is provided for everyone who works in the neighborhood: young and old, singles and families, rich and poor. Businesses and residences are located near each other.
* Parks and public space: There are plenty of public places to gather and play.
* Accessibility: The neighborhood is accessible to everyone and has wheelchair access, plenty of benches with shade, sidewalks on all streets, etc.
* Well connected, speed controlled streets: Streets form a connected grid that improves traffic by providing many routes to any destination. Streets are narrow to control speed, and shaded by trees to protect pedestrians.
* Pedestrian-centric design: Buildings are placed close to the street to cater to foot traffic, with parking lots relegated to the back.
* Close schools and workplaces: Schools and workplaces are close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.