Here’s an interesting and environmentally sound way to rate U.S. cities: by their “walkability.” “Walkability,” according to the impressively detailed site Walk Score (which will calculate a 1-100 score for any address), has to do with how car-dependant a place is, factoring in its proximity to local businesses (grocery, hardware stores) schools and workplaces; its allowance for public spaces and parks; and whether there is nearby housing for mixed incomes.
In addition to the fun of finding out how your own hometown fares, you’ll find some interesting stats compiled on the site. Who knew that Cleveland (No. 14 in Most Walkable Cities) was so much more foot-friendly than Memphis (No. 35)? Or that San Francisco (with all those hills!) could best New York City? We all know it’s great to leave the car behind when possible, but there is one (and, for some of us on the East Coast, pertinent) factor not taken into consideration: the weather.
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