Mapping Walkable Neighbourhoods

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You may have noticed the Walk Score ratings at the top of the case studies on urban villages.  A great visual image, but can the intangible assets of a community be translated into a numeric score?

Perhaps not completely, but tools such as Walk Score are a great discussion starter.  And it turns out, it’s pretty accurate.

I spoke with Walk Score’s CEO Josh Herst the other day about their project to rate the top 40 walkable neighbourhoods (sorry, neighborhoods) in the U.S.  He said, even the communities that score a low 30 have pockets that are highly walkable.  And therein lies the challenge that only the people living in the community can answer.  What are the strengths in our community that we can build upon?

Compare the googe-map starkness of Walk Score with the glimmers and gems of a Jane’s Walk, and you’ll see there is room for a wide range of tools to help coalesce community interest into action.  Both are simple and elegant tools in their own way, and both help stimulate discussion.

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