I’ve talked about this before, but DC measures well in terms of walk score – and the neighborhood where I used to live scored an 82. So, when American Classic Homes released the walk scores of some of the most famous houses in America, I wasn’t surprised to see that The White House ranked high with a score of 83.
Walk scores are the gold standard in terms of measuring walkability in different areas. Though as I stated previously, I think they are a little overinflated if the city is denser – and there are other factors that aren’t taken into account such as weather, topography, etc. Walking scores are ranked on a scale of 0-100. The top scores of 90-100 imply that a car is not needed to accomplish daily tasks and errands. On the contrary, a walk score of 0-24 means you will be almost entirely dependent on your car or public transportation to get around.
Higher walkability scores tend to indicate higher property values and healthier communities. Joe Cortright mentions, “In the typical market, an additional one point increase in Walk Score was associated with between a $500 and $3,000 increase in home values.” And because people aren’t as reliant on their vehicles they walk more and, as a result, many studies suggest a strong correlation exists between a person’s weight and how much and how often they walk.
Most people today include walkability as a deciding factor when researching where to purchase their next home. Other factors to consider include proximity to shopping, coffee shops, parks, and public transportation, but if you are really looking to keep your wheel time down, walking scores are particularly helpful.
Just as consumers have realized this – urban governments need to realize how important this is as well. With more and more people moving into urban areas, cities all over the country are seeing dramatic year-over-year growth. This is something that transportation and planning officials need to consider when undertaking new construction and updates, not only for the health of their citizens and continued growth, but the health of the nation and the environment.