There are plenty of things to look for when you’re in the market for a new home: good schools, good shopping, convenient transportation, and, in a green era, walkability. According to the Huffington Post, these are all factors that make neighborhoods desirable for the next generation of homebuyers, with walkability being the nouveau buzzword of the year. One website, Walkscore.com, actually ranks the walkability of your home (just type in your zip code), based on its proximity to the services you will need. Its top cities are some of the oldest in the nation, built in a pre-car era, where foot and hoof are what got people places. Even if the cities have expanded since then, the city core and certain neighborhoods still maintain the proximity of the past, with easy access to all the necessary services. On the other hand, it does not consider other important elements such as terrain—the number one city, San Francisco, does have a few hills to climb—or weather. In other words, you had better bundle up if you’re going to pound the pavements of the next five cities—New York, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia—in February, and bring an umbrella for sixth place, Seattle, just about any time of year.
So how does San Jose measure up? It ranked a respectable number seventeen, though some of the cities that beat it are surprising. Los Angeles, for instance, hardly considered a walker’s paradise, came in at number nine, while Milwaukee and Cleveland, hardly a paradise by any extent of the imagination, came in at thirteenth and fourteenth respectively. San Jose was sandwiched neatly between San Diego and Las Vegas, though who wants to saunter around Las Vegas in August?
Perhaps it has to do with neighborhoods. The site says that the most walkable neighborhoods in San Jose are Buena Vista, Burbank, Rose Garden, and Downtown, while Evergreen, North San Jose, and Edenville-Seven Trees do not score quite so high. Then again, they’re always cycling …
Read More at WalkScore.com.
Read More at the New York Times.