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The 10 Most Walkable Cities In The U.S.

Most places are designed so that you basically can’t walk anywhere. But that’s starting to change.

If you can step out your door and get coffee, toilet paper, and groceries within a couple of blocks (and stop by a park, movie theater, or bar on your way back) you may live in a place with a perfect Walk Score, the standard rating of any address’s pedestrian-friendliness. That describes my old apartment in Brooklyn (98/100)–but across large U.S. cities, it’s still pretty rare. The average Walk Score is only 45 out of 100.

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Walk Score (now run by Redfin, the real estate brokerage) has pulled together a list of the outliers: The most walkable cities in America. It’s no surprise that New York (with a score of 87) and San Francisco (83.9) made the top of the list for 2015.

Flickr user InThisLight

But others, like Miami (75.6) and Oakland (68.5) are steadily climbing up in rankings, and are likely to keep becoming less and less dependent on cars. In Miami, for example, the city plans to convert a major street called Biscayne Boulevard–which currently forces pedestrians to cross eight lanes of traffic–into something more walkable. Parking spots in the median will be turned into a big park, and lanes will disappear when it’s not rush hour. It’s one of several projects in the city that earned it a ranking of fourth in the country for future walkable cities in another report.

It’s one example of a transformation that is happening in many cities–Detroit, the birthplace of the car, crept up the Walk Score chart two points over its rank in 2011. Even New York, which has led most walkability rankings for years, is improving its score.

Flip through the heatmaps at the top of the story to see how walkability varies through each city; the greenest areas are most walkable, while red are most car-dependent.

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About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.

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