3 % of people in Greenville County live in a walkable community

We originally published this post on December 27, 2016.

On September 28, 2022 we presented about walkability to the Upstate Forever Citizen’s Planning Academy and we asked the participants what percentage of Greenville County residents live in a walkable community, and the guesses were all very close to our 2016 analysis!

We decided to look again at the below data, and found that the County population as of July 2021 is 533,834, which is a 8.6% increase from the below data, and the City of Greenville has grown 11.6%.  Travelers Rest has grown 69.8% from the 2015 to a population of 7,771.

Unfortunately the walkscore.com website has not updated the population numbers to recognize this growth.  Further to complicate a new analysis, there is no alignment between the official census tracts and walk score’s neighborhoods.  Travelers Rest has a walk score of 48, and one can argue that is should be considered somewhat walkable.  So perhaps the walkable percentage now exceeds the 3% and is near 4%.

The original post:

The website walkscore.com allows users to find locations that are walkable, and makes money by advertising apartments and homes in the searched location.

They state, “We believe that walkable neighborhoods with access to public transit, better commutes, and proximity to the people and places you love are the key to a happier, healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.”

A recent CNU journal post, What is a Liveable Community Anyway?

“A walkable community is the most common term to describe the alternative to drive-only suburbia.

Former US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood defined livability as “a community where you can take kids to school, go to work, see a doctor, go to the grocery store, have dinner and a movie, and play with your kids in a park, all without having to get into a car.”

A walkable community is a livable community, according to the plainspoken LaHood. Walkability allows for access, connection, and diversity of experience.

The concept is a profound one:  Life changes depending on whether a community is built around walking or driving.”

Here are the metrics for Greenville County:

Why do people not bike or walk for transportation?

  • 97 % have to use a car to run all errands
  • No safe infrastructure / suburban sprawl infrastructure

Downtown Greenville will grow by approximately 5,000 people when the  construction of apartments and condos currently permitted are completed.  This will increase the percent of Greenville County residents living in a walkable community by 1/2 of one percent.

It is unlikely that urban development in the other municipalities in our County will change this metric, as these are small urban cores compared to Greenville.

This writer is among the 3 percent of Greenville County residents who are fortunate enough to live in a walkable community and can attest how liveable it is!

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