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Most Walkable Cities

Rankings of Top Walking Cities


Updated June 07, 2014

Powerwalking Women

Powerwalking Women

© Monkeybusiness / Depositphotos.com

Each year, a list of top walking cities is produced by one or more organizations. Walkable city criteria vary each year, with the lists of the most walkable cities seeing many changes.

Prevention Magazine

2012 Best US Cities for Walking: The list does not cite any criteria other than the WalkScore for each city, but they list walking amenities for each of those selected.

American Podiatric Medical Society Walkable Cities List

The APMA produced a list of the Top Walking Cities in America for many years. Changes to the rankings of walkable cities is guaranteed by using different criteria each year.
  • 10 Best Walking Cities 2009: 19 criteria were used on the 100 most-populous cities in the US. The results are more logical than those of the past couple of years. The criteria included walking and hiking trails, forests and parks, fitness walking percentage, walking commuter percentage, mass transit commuting percentage, cars per household and miles driven, mass transit miles, pedestrian fatalities and crime rate.
  • 10 Best Walking Cities 2008 - 10 Worst Walking Cities 2008: The criteria included expert panel rating, walking commuters, green space and safe streets. Other criteria included crime, pedestrian fatalities, fitness walking percentage, schools, mass transit, cars per household, WalkScore of walkable destinations, air quality, Rails to Trails program, and cleanliness. The rankings are dubious as Trenton, New Jersey ended up in the top 10.
  • 10 Best Fitness Walking Cities 2007 - 5 Worst Fitness Walking Cities 2007: The criteria included being on the Walkable Communities list, an index of physical activity and exercise, percentage walking for exercise, and household expenditure on mass transit. Other criteria include parks, crime, climate, ozone rating, points of interest, schools, and athletic shoes purchased.
  • Top 10 Walking Cities 2006: Criteria included percentage walking for exercise, health, or walking to work. Other criteria include parks, trails, points of interest, crime, dog ownership, climate, and participation in exercise, sports and golf.
  • Top 10 Walking Cities 2005: The ranking categories were healthy lifestyles, modes of transportation to and from work and involvement in fitness and sport activities.
  • Top Walking Cities 2002 and 2003: The 2003 study included several climate factors, which made rainy cities previously lauded drop off the list.

Walk Score Walkable Neighborhoods

Walk Score is a project of Front Seat, a civic software company based in Seattle. It ranks neighborhoods in the 40 most populous US cities. Walk Score only ranks the ability to live in an area without using a car for most errands, not for livability. A high score does not mean that the walking environment is pleasant or that the neighborhood has access to mass transit. The rankings are based on using Google Local Search API database to locate restaurants, stores, schools and parks. The closer these are, the higher the score, with maximum points for being within a quarter mile and no points for farther than a mile.

WalkScore's list of the top 10 walkable cities 2011: press release July, 2011.

Top Walkable Neighborhoods 2008

Pedestrian Danger Index

Transportation for America ranks 52 US cities for pedestrian safety. They factor in how many people walk to work and the pedestrian death rate.
Most Dangerous Cities for Walking 2011
Most Dangerous Cities for Walking 2014

Walk Friendly Communities

This award debuted in April, 2011. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center grants these designations.
11 Walk Friendly Communities 2011

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