New York City, San Francisco and Boston are the most walkable cities in the U.S., according to 2015 rankings released by Walk Score, a neighborhood information website purchased by Redfin last year.
The announcement of the rankings brought into focus Walk Score’s value as a publicity tool for Redfin, with the broker’s press release on the rankings featuring comments from Redfin market managers on the improved Walk Scores of Miami and Detroit.
The next seven cities on Walk Score’s top 10 list are: Philadelphia (Walk Score: 76.5), Miami (75.6), Chicago (74.8), Washington, D.C. (74.1), Seattle (70.8), Oakland (68.5) and Baltimore (66.2).
When Redfin purchased Walk Score in October of last year, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said the broker planned to integrate its extensive neighborhood data and rental listings into Redfin’s website.
Since then, Redfin has incorporated data including photos and walkability, bikeability and public transit ratings from Walk Score into its listing and community pages.
But it still has yet to add rental listings.
Walk Score says it calculated its rankings by analyzing over 10 million locations and computing more than 2 billion walking routes for 2,500 U.S. cities. The company’s walkability algorithm incorporates walk routes, depth of choice, pedestrian friendliness, population and neighborhood data.
The announcement on the rankings featured statements from Redfin managers on two markets, reflecting Walk Score’s utility as a marketing vehicle for Redfin.
Miami’s Walk Score has climbed three points since 2011 thanks to a surge in commercial development, according to Redfin’s press release.
“People can now walk where they used to have to drive, especially in neighborhoods like Wynwood and the Design District where a lot of new restaurants and shopping and entertainment centers have opened up,” said Aaron Drucker, Redfin’s Miami market manager, in a statement.
The announcement on rankings also called attention to Detroit’s 2.2-point Walk Score increase since 2011 to 52.2.
A flood of small businesses following the move of Quicken Loans into the heart of Detroit has spurred a desire among “all generations” to live in the city, according to the press release.
“As a result, real estate in the city is in great demand, now lofts and condos are being built, and prices — in rents and sales alike — are rising,” said Lauren Buttazzoni, Redfin’s market manager in Detroit, in a statement. “It has all been a great boon for the motor city.”