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Walk Score has Launched New Neighborhood “Heat” Maps

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Walk Score has launched new neighborhood “heat” maps for over 2,500 cities and 6,000 neighborhoods which show graphically just how walkable they really are. Instead of the numerical scale that rates a location’s pedestrian friendliness from “Car Dependent” to “Walker’s Paradise,” Walk Score has developed a new system that incorporates heat maps showing where cities are more or less walkable. The greener the area, the easier one will find it to get from one place to another without the aid of an automobile.

These maps have potential to become powerful research tools for policy makers looking to make their regions more livable and sustainable by allowing them to see where areas are less accessible. Walkable cities are livable cities because they offer people alternative transportation options to driving from place to place. Walking and walkable neighborhoods offer many positives for improved health and community involvement all contributing to the creation of livable communities.

Example: Washington, DC

Walk Score uses an algorithm which gives points to places with amenities within walking distance. The further away the amenity is, the fewer points the location receives with one mile being the maximum distance permitted. Walk Score is not able to quantify for broken sidewalks or other impediments to safe walking. It can only measure how far one needs to walk to get to restaurants, parks, coffee shops, grocery stores, bars and other desirable locations.

See original review by Nate Berg of Planetizen here.

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