Thursday, July 17, 2008

WalkScore ranks America's most walkable cities

WalkScore has produced a list of the most walkable cities in the country, with the top 10 profiled on the site. No real surprises on the list, save maybe L.A. Here are the top 10:

1. San Francisco
2. New York
3. Boston
4. Chicago
5. Philadelphia
6. Seattle
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Long Beach
9. Los Angeles
10. Portland

The guys behind WalkScore have added some really cool features, incorporating what they did originally in Seattle to many other cities. I love the mapping tool which shows which parts of town are car dependent, somewhat walkable, very walkable and a walker's paradise. The rankings also list the walk scores for individual neighborhoods within each city.

Looking further down the list of the top 40 U.S. cities, I'm a little surprised by a few rankings. Houston ranks higher than Austin, which is a huge surprise. Charlotte is lower at 38 than Atlanta at 22. While that may be true for the city as a whole, it is certainly not true for the city center in Charlotte, which I've found to be one of the most walkable in the South.

Other cool new features on the site include a list of 138 "walkers paradises," neighborhoods with a walk score of 90 or above (The top 10 are all in NY or SF.), an article promoting walkable neighborhoods as a solution to problems including the energy crisis by Alan Durning of the Sightline Institute, Back to the Future: Walkable Urbanism by Christopher Leinberger, and a petition to implore Congress to support walking, biking and transit in the 2009 Transportation Bill.

Check out WalkScore and find the score of your neighborhood.

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