A new real estate website calculates how many useful destinations are within a walkable distance from your home and assigns a “walkability score.”
Although the idea of a compact town center is not new, walkability has become easier to quantify, thanks to Walkscore.com. The website’s algorithm takes a previously subjective idea – being able to step out your door and walk to places you need to go – and boils it down to a single number. Now online real estate sites, including Zillow and ZipRealty, are beginning to add walkability ratings to their home listings. “When people live in a walkable neighborhood, they are able to save a lot of time and money that they would otherwise be pouring in their gas tanks,” said David Goldberg, communications director for Smart Growth America, a Washington-based coalition of organizations promoting smart planning and building, and an advisory board member of Walkscore.com.
I typed in my address and got a rating of 98 out of 100, thanks to the 24-hour drugstore, the grocery store, the post office, and the dozen or so restaurants on my block. I imagine most Manhattan addresses would score similarly, so this site probably isn’t very useful for this borough. Check your neigborhood’s walkability here. San Francisco leads the list of “most walkable neighborhoods” followed by NYC, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia.