Sociology in the News: The Trick or Treat Index

In 2009, the online Realestate company Zillow attempted to quantify a trick-or-treating mindset that we have all kicked around since our childhoods…

candy-corn-1726481_960_720“The idea is simple: Kids, and the parents who chaperone them, have a way of sussing out good urban design. On Halloween, they’ll flock to places where cars drive slowly, streets are well-lit, houses are close together, and front doors are close to the street. If thee’s a holiday for city planners, the planner Brent Toderian has argued, Halloween is it.” -Henry Grabar, staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox.

What Zillow did was try to create an index, the Trick or Treat Index if you will, that would permit web savvy adults extra knowledge on where the best places to trick-or-treat would be. While the idea is great, Zillow’s index is flawed, focusing solely on money as an indicator of value rather than other intrinsic values of urban design. By solely focusing on median home value, housing density, population age, and crime rate, Zillow’s index only sort of works. Click here to read more from the Henry Grabar Article, or Click here to read Zillow’s promotion of their Trick or Treat Index. You’ll note that Seattle ranked #9 of the top 20 trick-or-treat worthy cities, with Laurelhurst pulling in as the #1 neighborhood.

If you found this topic interesting, or if you are just interested in urban studies and sociology in general, consider registering for SOC 215: Urban Sociology next quarter, taught by Professor Mahesh Somashekar! 

Correction: The previous post said that Prof. Kyle Crowder was teaching SOC 215. This was incorrect and has been corrected to Prof. Mahesh Somashekar.
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