Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Don't We Drive More Than We Walk?

When I posted the follow-up article on Walk Score, an alert reader pointed me to Drive Score. This site allows you to enter an address and get a score based on the number of businesses within drivable range. (Since I just proved that South Dakota is within "drivable range" of Florida, the How It Works page helped me understand what is being measured.

Your Drive Score is a number between 0 and 100. The score of an address depends on how far you are comfortable driving―after all, everything is within driving distance if you have the time. Here are general guidelines for interpreting your score:

  • Excellent (90 - 100): All errands can be accomplished by car within 5-7 minutes
  • Very Good (70 - 90): It's possible to get everywhere you need within 10-15 min by car.
  • Good (50 - 70): Some stores and amenities are within 20-25 minutes driving distance.
  • Satisfactory (25 - 50): Only a few destinations are within easy driving range.
  • Disappointing (0 - 25): Virtually no neighborhood destinations within convenient driving range.

OK, that made sense to me. I also liked the How It Doesn't Work page, which showed some of the limitations of the data.

It was interesting to see what was available within driving distance of both my office and my home, with icons identifying different types of establishments -- some of them even in walking distance!

Overall, it's a nice addition to the tools available for assessing neighborhoods. Thanks for the link!


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