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Top 10 Most Walkable Big Cities

Bisbee was built walkable, but read below!


A Brookings Institution researcher says after the advent of the shopping mall, developers forgot how to build great cities, but that’s changing as urban areas again strive to be walkable.

"For 50 years we had this collective amnesia about how to build great places," says Christopher B. Leinberger, a real estate developer and visiting fellow at Brookings.

Leinberger quantified the walkability trend by ranking the 30 largest metropolitan areas in terms of the number of walkable urban places they had clustered about them, then divided the number of places by the total population to find the cities with the most walking opportunities per capita.

Leinberger, who also teaches urban planning at the University of Michigan, counted 157 such "walkable places" -- including Boston's Beacon Hill, Miami's Coconut Grove and the Houston area's Sugar Land Town Square. The Tampa, Fla., area was the only one without a single place on his list.

Here are the top 10 cities with the most walkable places per capita, along with the number of most walkable areas:
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria: 20 walkable places
  • Boston-Cambridge-Quincy: 11
  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose: 14
  • Denver: 5
  • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton: 4
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue: 6
  • Chicago-Naperville-Joliet: 14
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Palm Beach: 4
  • Pittsburgh: 3
  • New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island-Stanford, Conn.: 21

Source: The Associated Press, Sarah Karush (12/04/07)