Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And what about the Talk Scores?

An article in the business section of the Sunday New York Times brought the pleasure of checking one's Walk Score to the masses. The impetus for the article was the publication of a study by CEOs for Cities, a group of advocates for urban redevelopment who not only fund interesting studies, but maintain a very interesting website. A couple of interesting points. First, the findings of the study, which is titled Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities. In a nutshell, houses with above average Walk Scores not only command a premium, but also hold their value better when the real estate market declines. Second, the source of the data was ZipReality, an online real estate listing service similar to the blog's beloved that does not yet cover Winston-Salem. It turns out that these sites not only provide services popular with consumers, but also function as massive databases ripe for researchers to mine. Third, the article reminded me of the best and worst of the NYT. The best, of course, is the interesting reporting. I doubt I would have found this Walk Score report on my own. The worst, also of course, is the the idiosyncratic editing. Only the NYT would print C.E.O.'s for Cities when the name of the organization (check their website yourself) is CEOs for Cities. Can we all just agree to reserve the apostrophe for contractions and the possessive case?

Enough walking and talking altogether, says Nate. Let's go into the furniture store in downtown Winston whose name tells what type of furniture it sells.

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