Walkable Cities: Get Your Steps in While Conserving Carbon
A walkable city means that you can get many if not all of your errands and daily activities done within walking distance. Cities that are more walkable provide many benefits to their citizens including:
- improved health, walking is good for your body
- better air quality, more walking means fewer polluting cars
- money savings, save money on fuel and buy some cute shoes
- improved neighborhoods, walking puts us closer in touch with the environment and one another
One caveat: walkscore.com might work best in the USA.
When I put in my location at the center of Amsterdam, walkscore.com gave me a high score of 98, a walking paradise. But the site also said that I could get a coffee nearby at the local “coffeeshop”. Anyone who knows Amsterdam knows that “coffeeshops” do not sell coffee! Oh well. I could still walk there for weed, I guess. haha! But countries other than the USA are not yet fully supported by Walk Score.
When I put in my previous address in Los Angeles, California it got a walking score of 71/100. There are maps which tell me the closest shops and restaurants as well as how far it is to public transport.
Walk Score also gives information on bikeability of some areas. It gives information about how flat or hilly the surrounding streets are and if they have designated bike lanes. When I put in another address in Des Moines, Iowa, the site gave it a deservedly very low walkability score. These suburban areas are often nice places for a stroll but there is a lack of public transit and the shops and restaurants are far away. I would have liked to see a bike score for this neighborhood, as there is a plethora of beautiful bike lanes nearby this particular area. However, bike scores are not given for every region across the USA.