What Is a “Walk Score” and Is It Important When Considering an Office Location?
America has forgotten how to walk. At least that’s how it seems when you take a look at some data. The number of people who walk every day has fallen by a staggering 40% between the years 1977 and 1995. The latest trends are even worse, with people taking around 5,000 steps on average every day, instead of the recommended 10,000.
It’s insane how little people walk today and how often they grab their car keys when the location they are trying to reach is barely a mile away. However, besides the convenience, people often avoid walking because the destination is hard to reach on foot. So many areas are made to be reached by car, while they are next to inaccessible by foot. If not that, then getting to that place can have so many obstacles that you start to feel like you’re a jumping video game.
That’s where we reach the topic of today’s article — the walk score.
What Is a Walk Score?
The walk score was introduced by a company with the same name back in 2007. It essentially ranks areas, neighborhoods, and specific addresses in the U.S., Australia, and Canada by how ‘walkable’ they are. The index essentially measures how efficient a location is at being close enough to a particular amenity. In essence — how close it is to an amenity from several categories like businesses, theatres, schools, parks, and many other common and necessary destinations for every regular person.
For example, a location would have a very high score on the walk index if it’s within 0.25 miles of several important destinations, like shops and schools. The farther away it is from these basic amenities, the worse the score it gets.
A specific algorithm continuously tracks and assigns a score for each location, and everyone can check that score for free on the company’s website. For example, the office of our company, Commercial Brokers International, Inc., has a walk score of 89, which is exceptionally high and means that ‘most errands can be accomplished on foot’ if you were to walk from our office.
Now that all of this is clear, does it matter for an office you’re considering?
Is the Walk Score Important When Choosing an Office Location?
It really depends on your personal preferences, what the office will be used for, and how much your customers need to reach the location on foot. Essentially, it all depends on what your business is and how important walking is to your target market. If your customers do not even use the office, then the walk score is essentially irrelevant. It will only matter to you and your employees. Also, consider how important it may be to attract workers/employees. Typically, employees like locations with higher walk scores, where they have many options for lunch as well as running errands.
A walk score is much more important for residential buildings, while it’s relatively optional for commercial real estate, as long as most customers go to it by car. However, with the current importance of environmental consciousness, things like the walk score will increasingly become essential and might even influence the value of specific properties. But for now, the score is not as crucial as its makers would like it to be.
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