A local Seattle company, Walk Score, has just launched a new service to calculate the walkability of your neighborhood. I don’t think I can better state what their service is so here’s a quote from their website: “We help people find houses and apartments in walkable neighborhoods. Walk Score shows you a map of what’s nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any property. Living in a walkable neighborhood is good for the environment and good for your health.”
The reason I like this tool is because it visually shows where all the area ammenties are in relation to your address. When deciding where to run your business you should look for a building that has a high Walk Score. Having a higher Walk Score, can provide local businesses with foot traffic to help sustain their business.
As soon as I saw this website, I wanted to see what my Walk Score was for our office space in Redmond. We managed to score a 95 out of 100 possible points. It’s important for businesses to be operating in a building that has high community connectivity. I’m always looking to do business locally with other businesses in Redmond, rather than sending my business off to other cities.
The other useful thing that I can see this service being used for is for LEED Certification. The first thing that is on the USGBC LEED Certification checklist is Sustainable Sites and Community Connectivity. In order to get points toward your LEED certification your building has pedestrian access to at least 10 of the basic services below within ½ mile:
- 1) Bank; 2) Place of Worship; 3) Convenience Grocery; 4) Day Care; 5) Cleaners; 6) Fire Station; 7) Hair Care; 8) Hardware; 9) Laundry; 10) Library; 11) Medical/Dental; 12) Senior Care Facility; 13) Park; 14) Pharmacy; 15) Post Office; 16) Restaurant; 17) School; 18) Supermarket; 19) Commercial Office; 20) Community Center, and other recognized services evaluated on their merit.
The one thing that Walk Score does not factor in is alternative transportation. They are aware of this and have an FAQ that addresses this on their website. I think my Walk Score would be even higher if they included this as we are located right next to the Redmond Transit Center. If they expanded their service to include this, it would help with another LEED Certification Category of “Alternate Transportation: Public Transportation”. The requirement for that is:
- Tenant to select building within ½ mile of a commuter rail, light rail or subway station or ¼ mile of two or more public or campus bus lines usable by tenant occupants.
I’m very happy with Walk Score and have added their Walk Score Real Estate Tile onto the thinkspace website location page. I think it helps show why our location is ideal for coworking space and where people are looking for high community connectivity.