• Washington, DC named most walkable US city

    2014-07-09

    Residents of some cities, such as New York City, like to tout how easy it is to walk from one place to another. While a city that's easily accessible on foot is great for those who live there, it can also make it a more attractive destination to visitors. Smart Growth America recently released a report from The Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University on the most walkable cities in the U.S. Data from the release is meant to help people determine which cities will continue to attract residents and expand the local economy, but it may also aid those making United States travel plans.

    The top spot
    According to the study, Washington, D.C., is the best city to get around on foot in the U.S. George Washington Today attributed part of Washington, D.C's high rank to retail density. The city has the most walkable retail and office space of any metro area the researchers studied. While the high concentration of offices may not entice anyone to visit, having clustered retail centers allows travelers to plan activities around smaller sections of the city. Since food and entertainment providers tend to spring up around retail establishments, it also means that there is likely more to do in a dense retail area than there would be in a place where shops are farther apart.

    Unlike New York, the second-ranking city, Washington, D.C., also has more outlying areas that are easy to walk through. While Manhattan may be extremely easy to navigate on foot, the rest of the New York metro area is less pedestrian-friendly. That means that travelers could have more options of where to stay and which parts of the city to go for fun than if they went elsewhere. New York may have a higher concentration of tourist attractions in a small area, but Washington, D.C., offers the chance for pedestrians to cover a larger area without passing through less navigable spots.

    Easy walking
    Boston, San Francisco and Chicago made up the rest of the top five cities on the list. Like New York, most of Chicago and San Francisco's walkable areas are concentrated in a fairly small portion of the city, which reduces their ranking. All three cities feature many different neighborhoods each with their own unique character. While moving from one end of the city to another may not be as seamless as it is in Washington, D.C., walking within these neighborhoods can be fun and easy for travelers looking to see their destination from street level.

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