Seattle is the nation’s sixth-most walkable city, according to Seattle-based Walk Score, a website that rates cities on how walkable they are.
New York is the country’s most walkable city, according to Walk Score, followed by San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Walk Score ranks cities from zero to 100 based on a resident’s proximity to stores, restaurants, schools and other services.
||Walker’s Paradise — Daily errands do not require a car.
||Very Walkable — Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
||Somewhat Walkable — Some amenities within walking distance.
||Car-Dependent — A few amenities within walking distance.
||Car-Dependent — Almost all errands require a car
In Seattle, the highest-ranked neighborhoods, according to Walk Score, are:
1. Denny Triangle — 98.
2. South Lake Union — 97.
3. Belltown — 97.
4. Cascade — 95.
5. Ballard — 94.
6. First Hill — 94.
7. Downtown — 93.
8. University District — 92.
9. Waterfront — 92.
10. Capitol Hill — 91.
Of Seattle’s 103 neighborhoods ranked by Walk Score, Rainier View has the lowest score, at 22.
Here’s a link to the Seattle neighborhood Walk Score rankings.
Seattle is the state’s best city for walking, according to Walk Score, with an overall Walk Score of 74. Tacoma ties with Kirkland for next best, at 59. Frederickson, south of Tacoma, has the state’s worst Walk Score average, at 12.
Professor Emeritus Richard Morrill and Professor Michael Brown
The Seattle Times has profiled the Geography Department’s new anthology, Seattle Geographies, edited by professor Michael Brown and Emeritus Professor Dick Morrill. The book, which is being unveiled this week at the AAG Conference in Seattle, emphasizes Geography’s unique spatial perspective on the Seattle region’s many “paradoxes”, including:
• Seattle may have a reputation as liberal and tolerant, “but it can also be quite controlling,” Brown says. For example, it has adopted stringent rules about social behavior that give police the authority to exclude people from parks if they violate rules or laws.
• The area has a long-standing fear of big government, but voters seem willing to tax themselves significantly, Morrill says.
• Though Seattle has a reputation as a high-tech mecca, one-third of the local economy is still fueled by manufacturing, notes Professor Emeritus William Beyers.
The book includes article by faculty, graduate students and undergraduates, and addresses such diverse cultural, social and ecnomic isues as voting patterns in presidential elections across the region, to relatively small, such as the politics of locating and building a skateboard park, and what that issue says about social and generational tensions.
The Seattle Times article also talks about the UW Geography Department, pointing to a “renaissance” in the discipline, and emphasizing our accountability to place, field-based research, and community engagement.
The current issue of the American Journal of Public Health has many articles that speak directly to issues of direct relevance to areas of current concern in geography and in population health. “Global Health and the Global Economic Crisis” by Benatar, Gill, and Bakker (pp. 646-653) pursues several arguments, and among them are that 1)global inequities in health reflect inequities in power; 2) the profit driven global economic system is a driver of inequities in health, and of collective poor health; and 3) a new paradigm is needed, versed in ethics, and culturally sensitive, creative, and innovative long term policy.
“The Social Determinants of Tuberculosis” by Hargreaves and colleagues (pp. 654-662) is very close to what I do in Ghana, and brings the understanding of tuberculosis into the realm of social epidemiology, social science, and the movement that has been termed “the social determinants of health” for the past 30 years or so. It is a label that I do not like since it is too—deterministic. I would much rather see “social influences on health.” It does not help to have a biologic determinism and a social determinism competing with one another–the whole problem is that health is not the result of determinism and the underlying causes of either ill-health or good health are not deterministic in nature. Be that as it may….this interesting article reviews the social factors that underlie contemporary TB epidemiology, including mobility and urbanization. In the US, for example, the main driver of TB is the influx of foreign-born individuals, for the simple reason that some are originating from areas that have high rates of TB; thus, percent foreign born, in any area in the US gives that area a high relative risk of having a TB prevalence rate well above the median. One of my recent doctoral graduates in the Department of Epidemiology, Eyal Oren, PhD, discovered a great deal of spatial clustering of incident TB cases in this state, and, based upon chart reviews and medical records, in King County.
The final article that I will mention is a spatial analysis of major trauma and injury in the North America. The article, titled “Trauma in the Neighborhood: A Geospatial Analysis and Assessment of Social Determinants of Major Injury in North America” (pp. 669-677) examines the spatial patterns and clustering of major trauma using GIS and a commonly used clustering algorithm, SatSCan. It is another example of examining health phenomena using the “social determinants” approach. In this case, I would call it the “social correlations” approach. Even if the relationships were deterministic, and they were not, there was no causation established here.
This issue of AJPH is unusually full of interesting articles that will interest geographers in many specialties.
Edward Glaeser uses his NY Times Economix blog to make a fascinating case for the recent transformation of Seattle’s economy chiefly via the consolidation of human capital–a largely local and spatial argument for economic success in a global economy. Citing the UW (along with Microsoft, Starbuck’s, Amazon, etc) as key drivers of the local economy, Glaeser argues that:
A great paradox of our age is that despite the declining cost of connecting across space, more people are clustering together in cities. The explanation of that strange fact is that globalization and technological change have increased the returns on being smart, and humans get smart by being around other smart people.
Dense, smart cities like Seattle succeed by attracting smart people who educate and employ one another.
Edward L. Glaeser: How Seattle Transformed Itself – NYTimes.com.