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What's a Walk Score and why should you care?

Wed, 01 Aug 2012 by Polycorp

I think we can all agree that walking is a healthy activity and that the less we drive, the better it is for the planet.  But did you know that you can check out the “walkability” of your neighbourhood on a website called Redfin.

Walk Score rates communities all over North America, including Halifax neighbourhoods, based on how many amenities, parks, theaters, schools and other common destinations, as well as public transit stops, are within walking distance of any given address as a starting point.   Scores range from zero to 100, that score being described as “a walker’s paradise”.

The site was created by Matt Lerner, Mike Mathieu and Jesse Kocher, all of Seattle.   They started it because they were inspired by the idea that walking is not only good for individuals but also for interactions within a community.  In fact, as the site points out “walkability offers significant benefits to our health, the environment, our finances and our communities”.  It offers insights such as “The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood”.  Or “one point of Walk Score is worth up to $3,000 of value for your property”.

If you live in a walkable neighbourhood,  you might be able to walk to buy your groceries, go to a movie or maybe even walk to work.  That translates into more exercise for you and fewer carbon emissions going into the atmosphere.  With the help of public transit and companies like CarShare, you might even be able to ditch the car completely, or at least scale back from two cars to one.   Think of how much money you’d save!

If you’re looking at buying a new home in Halifax, why not check out the “walkability” of the neighbourhood you’re considering?  You can see how it stacks up against such locations as the Eaton’s Centre in Toronto (walk score = 100) or maybe 24 Sussex Drive (walk score = 32, definitely car dependent).  

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Polycorp has grown to become one of Halifax's best known residential home builders and developers. As a leading Halifax new home builder, our commitment to detail and quality is what makes our homes exceptional. We create unique neighbourhoods and innovative home designs, all the while focusing on energy efficient technologies to help reduce our carbon footprint. Please contact us if you would like to see our inventory of new homes and condos for sale in Halifax, Nova Scotia.