I recently relocated to Seattle to join Tableau Software, and as I searched for a place to live I realized that I could dramatically reduce my dependence on driving. I used WalkScore.com to find a neighborhood with great access to restaurants, stores and a vibrant community. The attached Tableau visualization
shows how lucky I am to live and work in Fremont, the Seattle neighborhood affectionately referred to as "The Center of the Universe!"
WalkScore.com provides a mashup of Google Maps and points of interest ranging from parks and libraries to restaurants and bars. Given an address, they compute a score based on the variety and quantity of places you can reach on foot. Lee Byron posted a cool visualization on his blog which aggregated data from WalkScore.com for a heatmap of San Francisco. Using his tools I scraped data for Seattle and loaded it in Tableau to produce the attached visualization (download the TWBX). Green areas indicate the most pedestrian-accessible parts of town and you can see Seattle is dominated by walkable neighborhoods.
In fact, according to WalkScore.com, Seattle ranks in the top 10 most walkable cities in the United States. Fremont itself ranks in the top 15 neighborhoods in Seattle; personally I've reduced my driving to once a week, and I fill my car's tank less than once a month. While other locations such as the Edgewater Hotel and Pioneer Square score higher than Tableau's headquarters, it's only because the scoring algorithm doesn't consider accessibility to a giant Lenin statue, a glowing rocket or a troll under the bridge.