Walkscore and LEED

1/13/2010 Uncategorized

This article from Treehugger dovetails with our recent discussion/competition regarding Walkscore. The article questions the usefulness of LEED-certified developments that are beyond walking distance from amenities and thus make it necessary for their residents to own vehicles. Specifically mentioned are LEED-certified homes built by Habitat for Humanity that register such a low Walkscore, they would be nearly impossible to inhabit by a family without a vehicle. In their own words: “So for the poor recipient of the Habitat for Humanity house in the middle of nowhere, do they give them a minivan as well as a house?” It would be interesting to compare the carbon footprint of a person living in a very efficient home versus that of a person in a very walkable neighborhood. Does the lower carbon footprint come from living in a LEED-certified suburb and owning a Prius, or from living in a downtown condo and owning a bicycle?