Urban Fold

The Outer Limits of Walk Score

Planning professor Doug Kelbaugh lives in one of the few neighborhoods outside Manhattan with a perfect 100 Walk Score. His brother's house in South Carolina has a Walk Score of 1. Kelbaugh reflects on the extremes, and what they mean.
Briles Takes Pictures / Flickr

Kelbaugh explains that his neighborhood in Ann Arbor, Michigan is an extreme outlier:

"Even though there are no full neighborhoods with a score of 100 in this or any other U.S. city outside of Manhattan, there are individual addresses that achieve the perfect score. Urban neighborhoods in cities like Boston, San Francisco and Seattle are full of such addresses. And at least one place in Ann Arbor, our downtown condo in the Armory on E. Ann St. ..."

From his house, Kelbaugh says that he can walk to a farmers market, a major university (his workplace), a library, concert halls, the restaurants and shops on Main Street, the local hospital, and nearby intercity bus and train stations. His brother, on the other hand, has to use one of his two cars to get anywhere because he lives in a development with an extreme suburban configuration.

"So what?" writes Kelbaugh. "Well, I would contend our walkable lifestyle is healthier, safer, cheaper, more convenient, efficient, and pleasant. But that’s a relatively subjective comparison. What’s a more objective claim is our smaller ecological footprint."

Read more over at cnu.org.

Full Story: Two Brothers, Two Radically Different Walk Scores

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