What’s your score?

By Dogtown Commoner | Posted at 1:08 am, September 19th, 2007 | Topic: cities, Uncategorized

A website called Walk Score rates the walkability of any address on a scale from 0 to 100, using google maps and based on how many stores, schools, parks, restaurants, etc. are nearby. It’s a clever little site, and while it obviously doesn’t account for things like crime rates or proximity to mass transit, the scores seem to be pretty reasonable as ballpark figures. My current location gets an okay but unexceptional grade of 72, which seems about right. A few places I used to live, mostly in New York, scored in the high 90’s.

It got me thinking about what other data I’d want included in the algorithm if I were actually using it to choose my neighborhood. Average annual days of sunshine? Average annual temperature? Quality of the local architecture? Average number of trees per block? Average number of barking dogs behind chainlink fences per block?

[Photograph above is “The Long Walk” by Bernard Fallon, taken in Liverpool in 1969. More information here.]