C'mon, what's your score?
Many of us urbanMamas and urbanPapas value efficient living, where we can have affordable housing close to transit hubs, schools, supermarkets, and other amenities. Portland is already known for its award-winning transit system. For a neat new tool give you a rough rating of the walkability of your neighborhood, check out WalkScore.com. What's your score?
The website offers great information on the benefits of walking:
Why Walking Matters
Walkable neighborhoods offer surprising benefits to our health, the environment, and our communities.
Better health: A study in Washington State found that the average resident of a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood weighs 7 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood1. Residents of walkable neighborhoods drive less and suffer fewer car accidents, a leading cause of death between the ages of 15 - 45.
Reduction in greenhouse gas: Cars are a leading cause of global warming. Your feet are zero pollution transportation machines.
More transportation options: Compact neighborhoods tend to have higher population density, which leads to more public transportation options and bicycle infrastructure. Not only is taking the bus cheaper than driving, but riding a bus is ten times safer than driving a car2!
Increased social capital: Walking increases social capital by promoting face-to-face interaction with your neighbors. Studies have shown that for each 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10 percent3.
Stronger local businesses: Dense, walkable neighborhoods provide local businesses with the foot traffic they need to thrive. It's easier for pedestrians to shop at many stores on one trip, since they don't need to drive between destinations.
The website says:
Picture a walkable neighborhood. You lose weight each time you walk to the grocery store. You stumble home from last call without waiting for a cab. You spend less money on your car—or you don't own a car. When you shop, you support your local economy. You talk to your neighbors.
Sounds good to us! So, what about your neighborhood? How does it rank? Are you moving soon? Will your WalkScore affect the decision of where you may move?