What is Your Neighborhood’s Walkability Score?Posted on: January 14, 2015Categories: LiveWell 24/7
What is walkability? It is the measure of how friendly an area is to walking which creates a more livable built environment. For example, someone who lives in an apartment in New York City probably has a walkability score than someone who lives in a rural setting away from a city. This is because the New Yorker has access to more amenities in walking distance than the rural person. Amenities include things like grocery stores, parks, restaurants, convenient stores, bicycle lanes, businesses and more. Having easy access to these things offers benefits to our health, environment, finances and communities.
Health: Residents of walkable neighborhoods tend to have a lower average weight than those who do not live in a walkable area. Having good public transit and access to amenities can also increase happiness.
Environment: It may come as a surprise that walking helps the environment, but when you consider the alternative of driving it makes sense. In fact, 82% of CO2 emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels, however walking is pollution free!
Finances: Walking, riding a bike or using public transit methods can help save money on car expenses.
Communities: It is estimated that every 10 minutes a person spends commuting by car, the less likely they are to contribute to their community.
So what makes a neighborhood walkable? Typically walkable neighborhoods have a public center, enough people for businesses to flourish, affordable housing near businesses, parks/ public space, pedestrian design to promote walking, schools and work facilities close to home and “complete streets” that include bike lanes, sidewalks and public transit.
Walkability is sustainable, promotes social interaction and physical activity, decreases crime and increases wellness.
Interested in finding out your neighborhood’s walkability score? Visit www.walkscore.com