Last summer, a trio of Seattle software developers started walkscore.com, which calculates the number of potential destinations within walking distance of any given address and then produces a rating. If your neighborhood scores 90 or above, you can easily live there without a car; if it scores under 25, you’ll be driving to the backyard. More than a million addresses were searched in the site’s first month. Matt Lerner, one of the site’s developers, knew the concept had arrived when a condo in Seattle hung out a gigantic banner that said “Walk Score 100.”
The Walk Score guys are cooking up some more goodness even as we speak, but we’ll have to wait a while before they’re ready to unveil it. Meanwhile, the Times gives our own Alan D. a shout-out, too.
Alan Durning, an environmental researcher whose blog about living without a car inspired Walk Score, argues that walking may be the ultimate timesaver. He cites a British study that suggests that for every minute you walk, you live about three minutes longer. “You’re not using time,” Durning argues; “you’re generating time.”
Not much else to say here—but if you’re hard up for a way to celebrate Earth Day tomorrow, a simple walk around your own neighborhood (with a quick glance at your Walk Score) is a place to start.