• WalkScore's New Rankings for Cities

    My heroes at WalkScore are out today with updated walkability rankings for American cities. Using the new 2010 Census data and enlarging their analysis to include 2,500 cities, WalkScore’s new analysis includes some changes from last time around in 2008. Here are the top 10 big cities for walking. There are some changes from last time around: New York nudged San Francisco out of the top spot; Seattle stuck to...
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  • To Build 1,764 New Homes This Year, Seattle Demolished… Just 21

    The story is deeply embedded in popular perceptions of the modern city: modest, low-cost apartments succumb to the wrecking ball to make way for ritzy highrises, putting working-class residents out on the street. The displacement caused by demolitions of low-cost housing can be devastating to poorer families and their communities, and urban advocates and policymakers widely agree that minimizing displacement is a critical public policy goal. In the case of...
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  • Weekend Reading 7/1/16

    Margaret Journalists have been giving a lot of press time to the role of foreign investment and absentee ownership in inflating Vancouver, British Columbia’s housing market these days. But knowing how to interpret that press is another matter. Take for instance this recent article in the Walrus which blamed wealthy investors from mainland China for city’s soaring housing prices. These investors accomplish this, so Kerry Gold, the article’s author, argues,...
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  • Accomplishments

  • A New Measure of Food Deserts, Part 2

    Clark’s post last week on a new WalkScore tool that maps which homes are within a five-minute walk to a grocery store reminded me of the always interesting findings from the University of Washington’s Center for Public Health Nutrition, where researchers have lately been looking at whether proximity to a grocery store actually influences people’s diet and health. What they’re finding, at least in King County, is that it doesn’t...
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  • A New Measure of Food Deserts

    The concept of a “food desert“—a place where residents have little access to healthy, affordable food—can seem somewhat alien to the well-off. If you’ve got your own car, living close to a grocery store just doesn’t matter much: you can always drive a bit and stock up with a big load of groceries! But if you don’t have a car, fresh, healthy food is often simply out of reach. Taking a...
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  • Transit Score: Cascadia Smackdown

    Canadian Transit Scores by Walk Score (Used with permission)

    The 2014 Canadian Transit Scores are out…and Vancouver, BC clocks in as the third most transit-friendly city in the Great White North, narrowly bested by Toronto and Montreal. Pretty good, eh? But what’s even better: when you combine Canada and the US, Vancouver comes in at number 6! The only US cities with a better Transit Score than Vancouver are New York, San Francisco, and Boston. Looking more narrowly within...
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  • Transit Score: Buses Matter

    They’re out! The cool kids over at Walk Score just posted their all-new 2014 Transit Score rankings with data on transit service in more than 200 cities across the US. And in good news for the Northwest, Seattle’s Transit Score ranks 7th among all large cities, trailing only New York, San Francisco, Boston, DC, Philly, and Chicago. Portland, meanwhile, ranks 10th. (Note that Transit Scores only rank transit within city limits, and don’t cover suburbs or...
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  • Walk Score Scores Again

    I never get tired of calling the folks over at Walk Score geniuses. The nation’s most widely used walkability measurement tool just updated its neighborhood rankings, using a new and improved algorithm. The news for the Northwest: Seattle clocks in as the 8th most walkable city in the US, while Vancouver ranks as the 4th most walkable city in all of North America, trailing only New York, San Francisco, and Boston. Yay!...
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  • Weekend Reading 4/19/13

    Alan: Sometimes, people ask me how I remain hopeful, given—well—everything. The answer is that action breeds hope. No, action IS hope. And action is breaking out all over the place, as Bill McKibben relates beautifully in his new Rolling Stone piece. “After decades of scant organized response to climate change, a powerful movement is quickly emerging around the country and around the world.” I’ve been on a John Vaillant tear....
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