Is your neighborhood actually walkable? A website called Walk Score ranks cities across the globe on their walkability — and the results matter in more ways than one.
Walk Score can help you choose a city or neighborhood based on its walkability or provide a better view of your city or neighborhood’s offerings, such as how many restaurants are in a certain zip code and how many minutes it takes the average resident to reach nearby businesses.
Walk Score uses a 100-point rating system — the higher the rating number, the more walkable a city is.
More than half of all trips outside of the home are for errands within three miles or closer, according to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Walk Score says you should have the option to walk to these three-minute errands.
The benefits of walking aren’t surprising. It’s healthy, especially if we’re sedentary most of the day. Walking is linked to a healthy body mass index, reduced joint pain, stronger immunity, and reduced risks of certain types of cancer, among other benefits.
Walkability is also linked to increased home value. Leading real estate platform Redfin, which owns Walk Score, says that walkability can increase the average home price sale by 23%, or a whopping $78,000. One study also found that each additional Walk Score point increased a home’s value by between $500 and $3,000.
Walking also reduces reliance on unsustainable modes of transportation, many of which use dirty, polluting energy sources. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the transportation sector is the largest domestic contributor to the overheating of our planet.
Walk Score says more than 140 U.S. cities have an average walkability score of just 48 out of 100. By comparison, 95% of China’s major cities scored 60 or higher.
Demand for real estate in walkable urban areas is outpacing demand in car-dependent suburbs.
“All people deserve access to the quality-of-life and economic benefits that walkable urbanism can provide,” Calvin Gladney, president and CEO of Smart Growth America told American City and County.
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