• Dec 24th 2007 at 1:20PM
  • 10

Brookings Institute did a field survey on the walkability of metropolitan areas and published a list ranking the best 30. Washington, where the Brookings Institute is based, came in first in the list that considered things like the number of walkable places and access to public transport. The top 10 cities are - drumroll:
  1. Washington
  2. Boston, Massachusetts
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. Denver, Colorado
  5. Portland, Oregon
  6. Seattle, Washington
  7. Chicago, Illinois
  8. Miami, Florida
  9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  10. New York
You can read the remaining 20 cities in the ranking below the fold. IMHO, Washington deserves the top spot but I would have put Boston a little lower and New York a little higher on the list. Tell us in the comments about getting around on foot in these cities or other and how you would have ranked them.

Also, enjoy the video above which has an unpredictable ending and great animation and music.

[Source: CNN]
11. San Diego, California
12. Los Angeles, California
13. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
14. Atlanta, Georgia
15. Baltimore, Maryland
16. St. Louis, Missouri
17. Minneapolis, Minnesota
18. Detroit, Michigan
19. Columbus, Ohio
20. Las Vegas, Nevada
21. Houston, Texas
22. San Antonio, Texas
23. Kansas City, Missouri
24. Orlando, Florida
25. Dallas, Texas
26. Phoenix, Arizona
27. Sacramento, California
28. Cincinnati, Ohio
29. Cleveland, Ohio
30. Tampa, Florida

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      The survey is pretty arbitrary in some of their decisions (Jersey Cty is "Downtown" New york while Hoboken is a "suburban towncenter"??!??). They explain that New York ranking is affected by the sheer size of the metropolitan area, wich encompasses part of 4 states (they consider Princeton and part of Pennsylvania part of NYC metro area for instance...). The bottom line of this study is that thereis a growing number of walkable areas in US cities. That's all that matters really.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hmm... Miami shouldn't be up on there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That list is crazy. Miami? Miami is one of the _worst_ places. Maybe they meant Miami Beach? The neighborhoods in SF _are_ walkable, and it is easy to get between them on transit. I'd put SF and NYC #1 and #2, but I haven't been to all of the cities. Only parts of D.C. are walkable. Atlanta? What?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The listing concentrates on the biggest cities, and doesn't mention smaller cities and towns that are even more "walkable", like Boise and Salt Lake City. Indeed, in many towns everything is within walking distance!

      While Washington DC has nice wide sidewalks, the chaotic street layout makes finding your way around very difficult.
      • 7 Years Ago
      These rankings must be based on the downtown areas alone. In Boston, all the "interesting stuff" downtown like restaurants and museums and so on can be reached on foot from the T quite easily, but the ease of access drops off dramatically once you start moving out into the suburbs. One complaint I have about the MBTA subway/commuter rail system is that you have to go all the way into the center of the city before you can go out again in a different direction.

      Likewise, San Francisco is very walkable between SoMa and Fisherman's Wharf, maybe even the Presidio, but other areas like the Sunset District are much more spread out. The biggest frustration is simply in getting around the Bay Area, especially the South Bay, because there's no overall public transit system, just a patchy mix of BART, VTA, Caltrain, and Amtrak.

      Atlanta and Los Angeles both have small walkable areas downtown, but a pedestrian can't really go outside of a region maybe ten blocks across. In both cases the subways barely go enough places to be useful.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A very strange list on the surface, I wonder what the criteria is. Maybe weather is part of it? That would explain LA over Philly - Or maybe the comment about downtowns is right. Boston might mean JUST that tiny part next to Brookline.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This list is a joke!! They have Detroit on here. The motor city where they don't have any real public transit and once you get out of the core they don't have side walks. I wonder what the criteria were?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm quite surprised that LA is even on this list. At the very least Philadelphia should be higher than it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can definately see Portland, OR in that. These cities must be downtown areas... because I don't know how some of the other cities can even compete with some of the others.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Miami is on there because you can walk anywhere downtown pretty easliy. Miami also has the Metro mover for when walking gets tiring. Why wouldn't Miami be on there?
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