Walk this way
It's healthy, green, in fashion ... and could increase the resale value of your home. Just how walkable is your neighbourhood?
Applewood is a great community for those that work anywhere in the Mississauga area or the Toronto downtown core. Beyond the great access to highways, GO and Mississauga transit, the local green space is remarkable. Applewood has it all within walking distance.
Walkability has become a buzzword in real estate, as environmentalists and "green" planners advocate compact residential neighborhoods near businesses and public transportation. And some realtors say in this difficult market, houses with high walkability scores are easier to sell: Owners can save money by walking to mass transit, and by using less gas when running errands.
Although the idea of a compact town center is not new, walkability has become easier to quantify, thanks to Walkscore.com. The website's algorithm takes a previously subjective idea - being able to step out your door and walk to places you need to go - and boils it down to a single number. Now online real estate sites, including Zillow and ZipRealty, are beginning to add walkability ratings to their home listings.
"When people live in a walkable neighborhood, they are able to save a lot of time and money that they would otherwise be pouring in their gas tanks," said David Goldberg, communications director for Smart Growth America, a Washington-based coalition of organizations promoting smart planning and building, and an advisory board member of Walkscore.com. Goldberg notes that some of Boston's early suburbs, such as Watertown and Belmont, are very walkable.
On a grander scale, people who walk more and drive less have a smaller carbon footprint. And the exercise tends to keep them in better shape.
calculates walkability by awarding points for amenities - such as a restaurant, store, park, school, or library - within 1 mile of an address. The number of points depends on the closeness of the amenity, with the most points awarded for those within a quarter-mile.
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