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Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the sanity-check-when-the-math-suggests-detroit dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Dave Munson was thinking about moving, and had a couple broad requirements for a new home: it must be affordable, and its neighborhood must be walkable. Price is easy to chart, but how do you compare the walkability of hundreds of cities? Simple: use math. A website called Walk Score provides rough walkability ratings, but doesn't tell you much about affordability. Munson downloaded the data that went into a city's Walk Score, weighted the relevant variables, and mapped the top results. Then he looked for overlap with the map of areas in his price range. He says, "Capitol Hill, Seattle led the pack. To be honest, I was expecting something a smaller, affordable Midwest town or something, but it the highest scoring areas were usually just outside of major downtowns. Other top areas included Cambridge and Somerville outside of Boston, and the South End in Boston; Columbia Heights, Washington, DC; The Mission District, Lower Haight, and Russian Hill, San Francisco; Midtown, Atlanta; Greenwood, Dyker Heights, Kensington, and Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, where we used to live; Lake View, Chicago; and Five Points, Denver."
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Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

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  • by kevinatilusa (620125) <kcostell@gmail.DEBIANcom minus distro> on Saturday August 16, 2014 @06:11PM (#47686269)

    I'm not so sure about that. I lived in Midtown for 3 years without a car. Grocery store was 4 blocks away, plenty of restaurants within walking distance including a great pub right across the street from me. The Atlanta Symphony, High Museum of Art, Shakespeare Tavern, and Piedmont Park were all within easy walking distance, and if I was willing to walk a bit further Centennial Park and Downtown Atlanta were only about half an hour walk. If I wanted to go further afield, there were two Marta stations within 3 blocks of me.

    Compared to other places I've lived (Southern California, New Jersey, Far suburbs of Chicago), Midtown Atlanta was by far the most walkable and livable without a car.

  • by evilviper (135110) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @06:52PM (#47686427) Journal

    Problem with "walkability" wasn't the distances from groceries/restaurants/etc, it was temperature during the summer months. Walking four blocks with groceries at 85+F (30C) would not be fun after a few weeks....

    Body temperature is 99F degrees, so 85 is nice and cool... You don't even need to sweat.

    Humans were designed for desert life, so it's something you can easily get used-to in short order, if you are willing to dress properly, aren't obese and don't have other medical conditions. Taking some cold water along with you should become second nature, but even that's not really necessary for a mere 4 blocks at 85 degrees.

    Look-up "Badwater Ultramarathon" or "Persistence hunting" some time to see what the human body is capable of, and how we compare to other animals.

  • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @07:14PM (#47686527) Journal
    Of the top ten States in terms of strictest gun laws, 7 have the lowest number of gun deaths. Transport of guns across state lines hamper efforts. Most if not all illegal guns in Canada, guns in the hands of criminals, come from America.
  • For walkability... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Snufu (1049644) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @07:26PM (#47686577)

    Every European city >> every U.S. city. Especially if mass transit factors into walkability.

    You could extend this to every global city, with possible exceptions of SF and Manhattan if you are a multi-millionaire or rent protected.

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