**Let’s face it – commuting sucks.** Most Malaysians prefer to live where it’s convenient and near the places that we like. Nobody likes to be stuck in traffic, and with petrol prices going nowhere but up, it’s getting unbearably expensive.

I live in Puchong. Before I started GoodPlace.my, I worked at JobStreet in Medan Tuanku, Kuala Lumpur. I used to spend about three hours on the road each day (commuting to and from Medan Tuanku). Annually, that was about 780 (!) hours wasted on the road. I’ve tried to negotiate to get my bunker bed set up in the store room but they didn’t let me…

2014 so far looks like a year where integrated developments reign supreme, and this is a direct consequence of how un-livable Kuala Lumpur has become. “Everything Under One Roof” is becoming a strong selling point for many new launches.

I look at pricing data every day in my job (yes, I have no life), and I notice some correlation between price appreciation and a property’s “walkability” (i.e. its closeness to important amenities such as eateries, transportation points, schools, retail outlets, police stations, etc). Anecdotally, we know this to be true for condominiums located in the city (notably the Kuala Lumpur City Centre or KLCC and Ampang Hilir).

I work closely with boutique property agencies which specialize in upmarket city condominiums, and I can confirm that the major selling point for these condominiums is how “walkable” they are. Indeed, for many condominiums in the KLCC enclave, shopping malls (notably Suria KLCC), public transport points and offices are reachable by foot.

Another notable example is Mont Kiara. The availability of international schools (Mont Kiara International School, Garden International School, Australian International School and the Lycee Français de Kuala Lumpur) as well as shopping malls (One Mont Kiara, Solaris Dutamas) and commercial hubs (Solaris Mont Kiara) makes Mont Kiara especially attractive to those who want to be near to everything.

We have since developed a simple algorithm that computes a property’s walkability (dubbed rather unimaginatively the Walkability Score), and ran that algorithm for most KLCC condominiums. Walkability Scores range from 0 (worst) to 100 (best), and can be downloaded (in the form of a map) here.

Not surprisingly, condominiums like Pavilion Residences and K Residences top the list with near perfect scores (those are built on top of retail malls), while properties on the “fringe” of the KLCC enclave (i.e on Jalan Tun Razak) like Setia Sky Residences and Orion score lower in the 70-80 range.

Next, we will match each property’s Walkability Score with the price appreciation for the last three years. What this dataset will give us is a capability to predict how much prices are going to increase for a property given its walkability score as a variable. We will share more about this in a future article – watch this space.

Meanwhile, if you’d like your area’s walkability to be analyzed, or have questions how the Walkability Scores are derived (caution: some math involved), drop me a message at this webpage – http://goodplace.my/blog/gws/

## Addendum: The Algorithm

**The maximum Walkability score is 100.** The initial point is therefore set at 100 which then gets subtracted through a series of weighted scores which each represents a particular facility. Mathematically, this can be encapsulated in this simple formula –

The heart of the algorithm is the computation of each of these weighted scores represented by X in the equation above. Each score again starts at a maximum value (which varies between the type of facility which is correlated to the degree of importance) which gets “dampened” further by two aspects:-

- Distance between the property and the facility
- “Ease of walk”: existence of pathways and walking lanes

The data points above are derived from Google Maps API (documentation here). The ease-of-walk factor needs a little more processing compared to the walking distance which is comparatively straightforward.

In the equation above, *A* represents the coefficient which represents the degree of the importance of the facility. Typically, the coefficients for safety related facilities (guard houses, police stations) and education (schools and colleges) are higher than, say, the laundrette and pizza eateries. *W* is the ease-of-walk factor while *d* is the path distance (i.e. not the straight line distance) between the facility and the property.

For each type of the facility in consideration, we typically build matrices since there will be multiple locations for each facility (for example, different transportation points for taxis and buses) –

Each permutation of these are reduced and factored into a single score which then fed back into the main equation to derive the final walkability score.

With new facilities and walking pathways being built, obviously the scores change, and we try to do a new what we internally call the Crawl-And-Compute process once every six months. For latest scores for existing properties inside our database, contact me.