How Walkable is Your Neighbourhood?

There is an evident gap between the cost of living in Metro Vancouver and people’s wages or salaries. With that, moving out of your parent’s home or the apartment you currently rent with one too many roommates can feel like a distant dream. If and when the day does come, cost saving will be important.

Consider walkability. Walkable places are believed to make people happier and healthier. Shorter commutes reduce stress, increase community involvement and allow more family time. The benefits extend beyond our health, happiness, environment and communities to our finances.

A walkable neighbourhood is comprised of the following:
     –   A center (i.e. a main street or a public space)
     –   Enough people to ensure businesses flourish and public transit runs frequently
     –   Mixed income and mixed use (i.e. affordable housing near businesses)
     –   Parks and public space (i.e. plenty of spaces to gather and play)
     –   Pedestrian design (i.e. buildings are close to the street and parking lots are in the back)
     –   Schools and workplaces are close enough that most residents can walk from home
     –   Complete streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit

Given that cars are the second largest household expense in the U.S., living in a walkable neighbourhood is a major cost saver. Though you may still own a car, walkable neighbourhoods ensure that the necessities (and then some) are accessible by transit and walking. This also promotes sustainable living.

If you’re considering moving or simply want to know how your neighbourhood stands, visit Walk Score.

Walk Score was created with the intention to help you find a walkable place to live. A Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.

A Walk Score between 90–100 is known as a Walker’s Paradise. This means that daily errands do not require a car.

A Walk Score between 70–89 is Very Walkable. This means that most errands can be accomplished on foot.

A Walk Score between 50–69 is Somewhat Walkable. This means that some amenities are within walking distance.

A Walk Score between 25–49 is Car-Dependent with only a a few amenities within walking distance.

Finally, a Walk Score between 0–24 is  Car-Dependent with almost all errands requiring a car.

My neighbourhood scored a 65 placing it in the Somewhat Walkable category and I must admit, this seems pretty accurate. Visit the website, test your own neighbourhood and let me know the results and whether not your agree or disagree. Comment below or post on Facebook!

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