Business/Commerce

Use Walk Score to Your Advantage

The web-based real estate assessment tool Walk Score allows users, whether they are city-planning departments or individuals, to see and assess the walk-, bike-, and transit-friendliness of addresses and neighborhoods.

Guidance
  • Incorporate Walk Score into real estate evaluations to encourage development toward more walkable goals
  • Incorporate Walk Score data into planning analyses for transit-oriented developments
  • Incorporate Walk Score data when evaluating the walkability of sidewalk and street networks and prioritizing improvement projects
Benefits
  • Allows users to quickly assess walking, biking, and transit conditions in different neighborhoods
  • Allows users to make livability comparisons between different locations
  • Helps integrate land use into transportation and development-planning decisions
  • Quantifies the value of walkability, transit access, and bikeability within real estate evaluations
  • Allows resource-strapped cities and communities to perform low-cost walkability assessments
  • Helps communicate planning goals for neighborhoods and transit hubs
Considerations
  • Currently measures distance as the crow flies rather than along existing street and sidewalk networks, though a “StreetSmart” version is available in beta form
  • Walk Score algorithm doesn’t customize how individuals might value nearby destinations differently
  • Walk Score doesn’t account for the width of streets, traffic, or other obstacles to walking, though the company has plans to integrate that type of data into walking evaluations
  • Walk Score’s accuracy depends on the database of destinations used by Google Maps
Where to Use It
  • Any of the 2,500 cities currently assessed by Walk Score
  • Transit (bus, train, ferry, light-rail) corridors and transit-oriented developments
Professional Consensus
Examples
  • Walk Score’s walkability index has been incorporated into 15,000 websites
  • Multiple U.S. cities have incorporated Walk Score into planning analyses, including:

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.