Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Walk Score

An interesting gadget I found while rummaging around at Correntewire is the Walk Score, which calculates the "walkability" of where you live. Enter your address into the calculator, and it generates a score from 0 to 100; the higher the score, the more walkable your neighborhood is.

Walkable neighborhoods have a number of health and social benefits. According to research cited on the website, people living in walkable neighborhoods weigh on average seven pounds less than those living in sprawled-out neighborhoods. Walking more means less pollution, and obviously there are more opportunities for social interaction when more people are walking. To give you some idea of what they consider to be a walkable environment, the cities with the highest walkability scores are San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Chicago.

Pole Hill scores a whopping 8 for walkability, although Jenn believes that we should get an extra couple of points for having to walk up the hill from her daughter's bus stop to the house. There are plenty of opportunities to walk for exercise around here, but there are no schools, shops, or other destinations reasonably close for walking. The goal of everybody in redneck suburbia is to live on at least 5-10 acres each, which goes against the idea of creating the density necessary for what Walk Score would consider an ideally walkable neighborhood.