If you want to be healthy, save money and battle climate change all at once, moving to one of the recently named "walkable" cities might be your answer. WalkScore.com, a service working to improve public health, communities and the planet, just named San Francisco the most "walkable" city in the U.S. The city by the bay scored an 86 out of 100, followed by New York's score of 83 and Boston's score of 79. Walkscore looked at the 40 largest cities in the U.S. and evaluated them based on residents' proximity to grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, movie theaters and other amenities.
I know I just praised San Franciso for being ahead of the curve, but I honestly think that New York should have taken the winning title this time around. I feel like I'm always walking! I went to WalkScore.com and found that most neighborhoods in Manhattan, including mine, are considered a "walker's paradise." Furthermore, I don't know anyone who drives in Manhattan, though many of my friends living in San Francisco drive daily. The ranking is deceiving, however, as it takes Manhattan's outer boroughs into account--where the neighborhoods aren't as densely populated and access to public transportation is more limited. Meanwhile, San Francisco's outer borough's, such as the East Bay, are not included in the evaluation.
Regardless of the ranking, it's evident that living in a walkable city is becoming an even more significant factor in choosing a place to live. Given current fuel prices and the state of our climate, it's a great time to wean ourselves off our fossil fuel addiction. Congratulations to all the cities making strides in the right direction. As accessiblity becomes a bigger decision-maker in people's lives, I hope that more cities work to enhance their walkability. In the meantime, take a walk and enjoy the sights!
Photo taken from www.cooltownstudios.com