With painfully high gas prices and increased awareness about the negative impact of fossil fuel emissions from conventional vehicles, many Americans are looking for convenient alternative transportation options.
One of the most sustainable reasons to live in big city is that it’s easy to rely on public transportation and your own two feet to get you where you need to go. Americans are increasingly using the availability of convenient, safe sidewalks and walking trails as a way to judge prospective cities of residence.
It comes as no surprise then that a recent national, quantitative ranking of walkability in U.S. cities found densely populated areas like New York City and Miami to be among the most pedestrian-friendly.
Based in Seattle, Washington, Walk Score can be used to rate any address based on its proximity to nearby amenities (grocery stores, restaurants, schools, parks, public transit, etc.) and promotes walkable neighborhoods for their economic, environmental and health benefits.
Walk Score’s ten most walkable cities for 2011 are:
1) New York
2) San Francisco
7) Washington, D.C.
“With Millennials entering the marketplace, volatile gas prices, and fringe suburban home prices in decline, the demand for walkable neighborhoods has outstripped supply in most of the U.S.,” says Christopher B. Leinberger, Non-resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. “An American family living in a house that is accessible only by car is spending on average 25 percent of their income on cars. Households in walkable communities spend less than half that amount, putting more money in their pockets.”
Walk Score delivers four million scores per day across a network of over 10,000 websites. According to independent research conducted by CEOs for Cities, one point on Walk Score is worth as much as $3,000 in home value.
Find your city’s Walk Score, find the Walk Score of their own address, and vote for the city they think is most walkable at www.walkscore.com
Image Credit: Flickr – Elvert Barnes