The 15 Most Walkable Cities in America
America's Most Walkable Cities
America's most walkable cities are also among America's most sustainable cities, its healthiest and most prosperous communities and its happiest places. Where people live in proximity to shops, schools and jobs, and where sidewalks and other pedestrian pathways create safe attractive environments, walking is a way of life. There are fewer fuel-burning vehicles, less pollution, more commerce, higher property values and, often, more parks and outlying open spaces preserved for posterity. There are community gathering points for farmers' markets and outdoor entertainment. Plus, people use their legs to do more than switch from the gas pedal to the brake.
That's why when it comes to sustaining the quality of the environment, the biggest gains often come from improving inner cities.
America Walks has recently updated its list of America's Most Walkable Cities, to highlight the places making the most progress. It compares Census data and a variety of parameters in 2,500 U.S. cities to determine its Walk Score rankings based on principles of New Urbanism.
If you live in one of these communities, feel pride. And if you're traveling, consider making one of these cities a destination.
1. New York City
Mayor Michael's Bloomberg's PlaNYC sustainability plan is paying off, as the iconic Times Square has become pedestrian pathway off-limits to cars, and bike lanes are going in (sometimes controversially) across the five boroughs. New York City's Walk Score is an impressive 85 out of 100, with 90% of its neighborhoods ranking highly for walkability. America Walks ranks New York's most walkable neighborhoods as Little Italy, SoHo and the Flatiron District.
2. San Francisco, Calif.
The most walkable neighborhoods in San Francisco, with a Walk Score just shy of 85, are are Chinatown, Financial District, Tenderloin.
3. Boston, Mass.
With a Walk Score of 79, Boston is the third-most walkable city in America. Its most walkable neighborhoods are Haymarket, Bay Village and Chinatown.
With a Walk Score of 74, Chicago ranks as the fourth-most walkable U.S. city. It's most walkable neighborhoods are Printers Row, Near North and Sheridan Park.
5. Philadelphia, Pa.
Philadelphia, with a Walk Score of 74, ranks as the fifth-most walkable U.S. city. The most walkable neighborhoods in the City of Brotherly Love are Center City West, Center City East and University City.
6. Seattle, Wash.
With a Walk Score of 74, Seattle is the most walkable city in the Pacific Northwest. Its most walkable neighborhoods are Triangle, South Lake Union and Belltown.
7. Washington, D.C.
With a Walk Score of 73, Washington, D.C., is among the most walkable U.S. cities. The nation's capital's most walkable neighborhoods are Dupont Circle, West End and Downtown.
8. MIami, Fla.
With a Walk Score of 73, Miami cracked the list of Top 10 most walkable cities for the first time in 2011. Its most walkable neighborhoods are Downtown, Brickell and Little Havana.
9. Minneapolis, Minn.
With a Walk Score of 69, Minneapolis is the most walkable city in the Midwest. Its most walkable neighborhoods are Downtown West, Loring Park and Lowry Hill East.