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Putting a price on walkability ( {check your walkability score!}

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:54 PM
Original message
Putting a price on walkability ( {check your walkability score!}
Posted by David Futrelle
August 22, 2009 11:13 pm

How much is walkability worth? An intriguing new study suggests that people are willing to pay considerable premiums for houses in neighborhoods that are highly walkable that is, where you can actually get to nearby stores, schools, and parks without having to hop in the car.

The study, conducted by a group called CEOs for Cities, looked at 90,000 homes in 15 different markets in the US, mashing up home sales data with walkability scores from (See the press release describing the study here, or download the study itself, in pdf form, here.) In 13 of the 15 areas studied, homes in highly walkable neighborhoods sold on average for $4000 to $34,000 more than homes in neighborhoods of average walkability. The pattern held in locations as diverse as Chicago, Tucson, and Jacksonville, Florida; only in Las Vegas were more-walkable neighborhoods less desirable than less-walkable ones. To the author of the study, Joseph Cortright, this suggests that neighborhood walkability is more than just a pleasant amenity, and deserves far more attention from politicians and other urban leaders.

Is this study simply saying that people pay more for homes in high-density metropolitan areas? Well, no; the study controls for this effect, as well as for a host of other factors (like home size, neighborhood income levels, and access to jobs) that might have affected the results.

Still, the results should be seen as only preliminary, in part because the walkability scores they use are crude at best. The idea behind the website is ingenious: you plug in your address, and the site uses Google Maps data on the locations of various businesses, schools, libraries and so on to calculate a personalized walkability score.
more: / /
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:05 PM
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1. I score a five, but that was an error. Zero really.
On the other hand one can use a bicycle.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:07 PM
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2. OK this is kind of funny because of the lay of the land here.
My score was 55. If I lived ten blocks closer to the water, it would be 85. While that would put me much closer to the beach and some restaurants, it would put me much father away from usable public transit, and decidely deeper into the flood zone.

My mom's score was 65, presumably because she lives closer to "shopping" but what the walkability program doesn't appear to have the ability to do is to take into account that while my mother lives in a very nice enclave, that shopping district the program thinks she's convenient to is not safe for a person of her demographics to use.
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Bonhomme Richard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:13 PM
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3. My score...3
But walkability to woods, fields, lake, would probably be at the highest end.
Depends on what floats your boat.
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:19 PM
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4. The only grocery store it scored for me was a 7-11, but it missed two markets a block further. . .
it counted only 1 restaurant, but there are over 15 within that same distance from me (including 1 that shares the parking lot of the scored restaurant). It scored 1 school -- a private church-run elementary -- but didn't account for the two public schools that are adjacent to that one. The "closest bar" it scored has been closed for years and is at least two blocks past another bar that's been in business for more than 50 years. It scored me as 1 mile from the nearest park, but missed the park that's at the end of my street.

I'm unimpressed.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. I live in a walkable neighborhood
although the sidewalks aren't much fun because of all the driveway cutouts. Most people walk in the gutter.

However, they do walk.

Unfortunately, this area has a really bad reputation, so I'm not seeing the price increase over the outer suburbs, areas that have the actual crime but not the reputation for it.
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