Front Seat Rates Top 'Walkable' Cities

Front Seat, the civic software company that operates walkability site http://www.walkscore.com, recently announced the results of their calculations to identify America's Most Walkable Neighborhoods. With gas topping $4 per gallon, Americans are increasingly looking for walkable places to live. The new list is the first objective national ranking of walkability; findings are based on analysis of 2,508 neighborhoods in the 40 most populous U.S. cities. The full rankings of the 40 cities and each of their neighborhoods can be found at http://www.walkscore.com.

According to Walk Score, the top 10 most walkable cities are:

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

In addition to the city rankings, Walk Score lists 138 neighborhoods nationally that scored in the highest bracket -- 90 or above. Tribeca, Little Italy, and Soho in New York top the list with scores of 100. The team also identified "pockets" of walkability in the lowest-ranking cities, to show that no matter how walkable the city, people can enjoy the economic, environmental, health, and social benefits of walkability.

"We developed Walk Score to help people evaluate the walkability of individual addresses as they search for a great place to live," says Mike Mathieu, founder of Front Seat. "Ultimately, we'd like to see every property listing include a Walk Score -- three bedrooms, two baths, Walk Score of 80."

The Walk Score algorithm works by identifying the closest grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and other amenities near a given address. The neighborhoods were weighted by population and assigned a Walk Score between zero and 100. Walk Scores greater than 70 indicate neighborhoods where it's possible to get by without owning a car, while scores of 90+ qualify as a "Walker's Paradise."

"As Americans look to reduce their environmental impact and ease reliance on cars, the appeal of walkable communities continues to grow," says Christopher Leinberger of the Brookings Institution. "People increasingly value the convenience and connectedness that vibrant, walkable communities offer -- and the health, safety and environmental benefits are icing on the cake."

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