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Do You Know Your WALK SCORE?

Walk Sign

The Biking Architect has just returned from the AIA (American Institute of Architects) regional conference in Eugene, Oregon.  He had lots of exciting new information to share and made some new product discoveries that were worth noting.

One of the keynote speakers was Alan Durning.  Mr. Durning started the non-profit Sightline Institute Solutions for a Sustainable Northwest  In Seattle after a long career with Earthwatch.  His program and the institute have just taken off and contributed heartily to the sustainability movement and the LEED work in this area.

From Durning’s Biography:
Durning is author or co-author of more than ten Sightline books including This Place on Earth 2002: Measuring What Matters; This Place on Earth 2001: Guide to a Sustainable Northwest; This Place on Earth: Home and the Practice of Permanence (winner of the Governor’s Writers Award in 1996); The Car and the City; and Tax Shift;. Currently, he’s also writing two series on Sightline’s blog, “The Year of Living Car-lessly,” and “Bike Neglect,” both of which have influenced the local and national debate about urban transportation.

Images of Alan Durning:  Sightline Institute

The information sharing on the various sites and blogs one could spend hours exploring and I invite you to do just that: Sightline Daily News

Another idea Durning developed was the Walk Score, this program came about after his teenager totaled the family car and they family decided to spend a year without a car in the City of Seattle.  The Year and the creation of Walk Score came about because of that experience.   The whole story can be found at this site and is updated on a regular basis

We were a family of three children and one car for a very long time.  Our garage is full of bikes!  Durning talked about how your walk score indicates how well the property will sustain its value, of bicycle neglect, cargo bikes, and ‘the next economic challenge will be to live within our means’.  “We need to think in terms of Equal Rights for Future Generations.”

I so appreciated this concept:  “True Materialism is the right to take care of things.”

Get home or business Walk Score on your site or see the Blog.

This home rated:

48 out of 100

Walk Score

Could you and your family live for a year without using your car?  Do you use a bicycle now?  Did you follow through and discover your Walk Score and all the wonderful projects from this institute?  Looking forward to you good words:

Oh Yes ! Walk scores are available in Australia  and Austin, Texas – I was amazed at all the locations where the scores have already been developed… I just entered walk score and the name of the city in the search button – Voila’


The Harvest Potluck e-cookbook is still available free and one can make a contribution to UNICEF from this site.

Still a couple of more days to make a comment on THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION post for an opportunity to win a copy of this amazing book .  Drawing for USA and Canada  October 30th 2010 .


If you liked what you read here you could share by clicking on the Green Share button.  Thank you.

Related Reading:
The Biking Architect
The Art of Eco-Mind Shift
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Taking On the Architecture 2030 Challenge

22 Responses to “Do You Know Your WALK SCORE?”

  1. Lance Says:

    Patricia,
    Well….my neighborhood didn’t score very well (37/100). That doesn’t stop us from walking, though – at least to what we can. My wife and I walked to the grocery store last week. Unfortunately this is not an easy task – as we have to walk partially along a busy road which has no sidewalks.

    Biking. I definitely do that!! Still – the biggest issue is the busy roads and lack of a good place to bike on them.
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..The Miracle =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Lance,
    We now have a second car since my mum broke her back and it is pretty fancy…I needed to confess somewhere, but most of my family do with out cars or our church car shares.

    We do walk to the grocery story and carry our back packs…and our CSA box and eggs are delivered to homes in our neighborhood that are walkable.

    I think it is fun to consider all the things that we can change right in our own neighborhoods to make a difference for our children.

    Thank you for commenting, I so appreciate your taking the time

  2. Dot Says:

    My WalkScore is 42, which is not great, but it works for me. I’ve lived at least 3 years without a car. Fortunately, there’s a bus line that runs 6 days a week, so when I can’t walk, I can ride.

    I am on the Sustainability Committee in my office and just recently we’ve been using paper made of eucalyptus, which is apparently easy to replenish. The paper smells great!

    Patricia Reply:

    Our office walk score is 94 and that was pretty neat to get…and we hardly use any paper anymore even with all the building drawings that we do.

    Alan Durning worked for years in Washington DC…

    Oh my good smelling paper does sound good and eucalyptus is quite the healthy aroma – especially for depression and heart health

    Yeah! we can all do lots of things…and I know you are walking

  3. Sara Says:

    Oh, I hang my head in sorrow…my neighborhood got a 3/100 walk score. Not that this is surprising as we are pretty far out from town and there are very few sidewalks.

    However, in two years I can check back because our area is undergoing a lot of construction, which include decent bike ways, as well as sidewalks.

    Though I admire Lance and his wife for walking to their grocery store, I still don’t see myself doing that. We always have way too many groceries:~) However, with the changes, both biking and walking will be easier in my neighborhood:~)

    What I would love to have are the bikes that you sit back in and pedal. There’s a guy in my neighborhood who has one and he walks his dog while in the bike…it’s kind of cool. Of course, I suppose if the dog took off, he might be in trouble:~)

    I really appreciate this article, Patricia…it was interesting to read about Alan During and what he’s done. Thanks for sharing this:~)
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..To Change or Not to Change =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Sara,
    You are welcome, I usually get to go to these conferences with my husband, but this year we did not have the funds to both go…I love the product display part of the conference and where there is a class for credit is session, I wander around interviewing all the sales reps….and making them look up their numbers and stuff on their computers…Three times I won the door prize for this part of the process, the last one was the most super insulated window in the world….we put it in our bedroom and now right from my bed I can look out at my 100 year old apple tree!

    I am trying to share this kind of fun stuff on biking architect each week…

  4. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    45. Indeed, we don’t walk a lot.

    However we do lots of other types of sports, so I guess one needs to find a way to stay active when they don’t do enough walking.
    .-= vered | blogger for hire´s last blog ..Talking About Anorexia With Pre-Teens- Too Early =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    vered,
    There are lots and lots of good information on the blog and web site too – all sorts of little changes that can make huge changes in a city….

    One of the things I learned is that one can now do green roofing and solar panels on the same roof structure and that having a white roof instead of dark can make a huge difference in heating up the city….

    Thanks for coming by, I always enjoy your comments an insights

  5. Terrill Welch Says:

    In 1987 while going to university as a single parent, I sold the family car and bought us each mountain bikes. My daughter was six and my son was nine. For the next three years we rode our bikes to get groceries and even to do the weekly laundry. We had monthly bus passes as well for school. It was great fun and experience.

    Patricia Reply:

    Terrill Welch,
    Many thanks for dropping by…I thought it was such fun information and I love all the ideas folks are sharing…My children are still avid bikers…

    Mr. Durning certainly is creative with his ideas and sharing…

  6. Talon Says:

    When it’s possible, walking is my favorite. Biking I love, but it’s dangerous here in the city. Safer to walk. And we’re within a reasonable walking distance of most necessities. The dogs love the walks, too, and their awesome motivators. :)
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..Words fail =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    I love walking Talon and that I am so close to everything. I can not bike any more.
    Were you able to link into the walk score site – it is fascinating and also his other work…
    This was a fun post to explore

  7. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia! Our bikes are at the lake house where I ride to town a LOT – here it’s way too citified and unsafe. My dog and I walk about 2 miles a day outside, weather permitting, or do the treadmill when it’s not. Thanks for this interesting post! Wish I had time for more but under the gun with homework!
    Big hugs
    suZen
    .-= suzen´s last blog ..Soda and Bottled Water Tax =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Suzen I can no longer ride a bike and that makes me sad, but my family does and I can walk just about everywhere from my house, I do the shopping walking. We have tons of bike commuters and huge 500 foot hills to go up and down to sea level…very challenging here.

    I after the homework you will come back and get your walk score only takes a minute….also I think Durning sites will really give you some valuable info for your school work.

  8. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. thanks for telling us about Durning .. yes I could do without my car – except for carrying stuff up and down to my mother – an excuse. I am about to start walking up and down .. and need to ..

    When I came back from South Africa .. I didn’t have a car in London for a while & rode a bike everywhere .. that’s where I learnt London is somewhat hilly .. not Hilly .. just gentle hillslopes!

    Thanks for the WalkScore info .. have a good weekend – don’t work too hard .. cheers Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..The Grand Tour =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Hilary,
    This is such fun stuff….I am working way too hard this weekend and through next week…then the job will be completed and I will have to start looking again big time for the next one…this week is the big push…

    Did you put in your address and get your score?

    I saw lots of bikers in England, but no helmets…except for the Italians in Scotland who had on all the gear they could muster!

    My oldest and her Dad want to come back to UK and spend time biking all over….they bike San Francisco and Seattle – no problem

    Durning is very impressive going to do another post about his work on Biking Architect maybe in 2 weeks…I have so much to do this week…a wealth of information for sure – helping the world

  9. J.D. Meier Says:

    I like stories of change from the inside out … a person at a time, a family at a time, a neighborhood at a time …
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Top 7 Lessons Learned on Dealing with Bad Emotions =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    J.D.
    I think Durning maybe a new giant to add to the mix. The Non-profit on sustainability he has started in Seattle is just going great and has exceeded expectations…

    Since you like stories one at a time and local…this guy is in your neighborhood and making a huge difference…and you probably like the eco-builders who are changing the world underground and with their own funds….

    You must like us!!!! Now that is a great thought!

  10. Jannie Funster Says:

    Austin, TX, eh? I’ll have to take the score.

    Out here in the burbs it would be hard without a car.

    I’m sure I’d bike everywhere if I lived closer in. I do love to bike. I used to.

    Happy Halloween!!

    xoxo
    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Politics — in 55 words =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Jannie,
    This is really fun stuff and information and your guy – builder Jim might really enjoy, increasing the value of your home with some of the incredible info at the non-profit site…too…amazing things to learn to keep Kelly’s world beautiful and healthy

  11. Mark Brown Says:

    Very interesting. I don’t believe my walk score would fair well. I walk the dog twice a day and I go for walks in the summer when the weather permits. Living without a car for me would be very difficult for me.

    patricia Reply:

    Mark Brown,
    Living without a car is very difficult for most people in this country because we have designed our lives to be car dependent. My walk score for home is not so walk friendly but we still walk to get our groceries and my partner walks to work or bikes everyday…I walk 3 miles every morning – part of our walk score that the computer figures in is that we will on a 1,000 foot climb…many folks can not do that…then again if we get too many groceries we have an excellent bus service so we can ride up the hill!

    My partner’s office walk score is 94…he puts his green sustainable designs into everything he does…