What Makes a Neighborhood Walkable? Fast Company "Talks the Walk"

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It's the weekend, the skies are blue - a great time to take a walk to a nearby park. But if you want it to be relaxing and not stressful, you'd better do some research.

  • The park might be a few blocks away - but did you know you have to cross a busy intersection to get there? 
  • Don't take that right turn off Willow Ave., especially after dark. There have been a rash of muggings on that street in the last few months.
  • Got a toddler? Watch out: there's a huge hill between you and the park gates. To avoid a half hour of whining - or worse, a piggyback ride - you might want to pop him in the stroller.

With Maponics Walkability™ product, end users can research all of this and more, making it a handy dataset for all types of real estate and mobile marketing companies. Walkability provides answers to these sorts of questions: Are there places to walk to? How do I get there? CAN I get there on foot? What are the roads like? Are they big and busy or small side streets? Are there any hills? Are there any areas between me and my destination that are considered high crime?

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In the Fast Company article "How Walkable Is Your Neighborhood: This Mapping Data Juggernaut Now Knows," author Ariel Schwartz explains how Maponics' new dataset changes the game for companies looking to integrate mobility analytics into their offerings.

When considering walkability, the company runs simulations through the road network to figure out how walkers get where they want to go. "It's not just a matter of measuring proximity. It's accessibility. Can you get to places, or do you need to cross highway?" says Darrin Clement, Maponics CEO. "It's no good if there are multiple complex intersections."

Schwartz notes that although Walkability is not a consumer-facing product, consumers can interact with it through other services, particularly in real estate and mobile marketing.

This level of granularity is new to the scene of mapping data - and it comes at a time when interest in walkable communities is on the rise. Here's what Walkability offers that other products don't:

  • 10 key features considered, including intersection complexity, traffic and crime
  • Easily integrated with Maponics complementary datasets, such as Neighborhood Boundaries, Destination & Venue Boundaries and School Boundaries
  • Measures proximity to amenities (e.g., shopping centers, dry cleaners) and leisure (e.g., coffee shops) in addition to overall walkability ratings
  • Fully customizable - pick only the features you need

Armed with the right information, every walk to the park can be ... like a walk in the park.