The Livability Index takes a holistic approach to understanding livability. It wasn’t created to solely measure the quality of the built environment or the health of residents. It includes those elements, but it also considers engagement, opportunity, and the natural environment. It encourages policymakers and professionals to get outside their areas of expertise and understand the interrelated nature of livability. For example, public health is influenced both by access to quality care and by neighborhoods that provide ample opportunity for people to be active as part of their daily lives.
The Index is also unique in that it allows measurement by address or ZIP Code and reports scores for every neighborhood in the United States. Previous indices have provided neighborhood-level analysis for the entire country, but for only one category of livability. Others have offered neighborhood-level analysis for many categories of livability, but only for a single city, using local data.