Jeff Speck, Walkable City: How Downtown Can …

Anyone with an interest in American cities today has heard of Walk Score. Launched in 2007, the web site calculates the proximity of any given address to various necessities and amenities — grocery stores, schools, restaurants, hospitals, movie theaters — and assigns it the eponymous numerical rating. When I first heard of it, I naturally punched in all my previous addresses. The neighborhood of Seattle's eastern suburbs in which I lived throughout most of elementary and all of middle and high school rates a Walk Score of three. That's three out of a possible 100, mind, but it still beats my first childhood home about thirty miles outside of Sacramento, California, whose Walk Score comes in at a perfect zero. This may go some way to explaining my subsequent choices of location in adulthood: downtown Santa Barbara (85), followed by Los Angeles' Koreatown ("walker's paradise" at 97).

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