Walk Score, which was recently acquired by real estate brokerage Redfin, has released its 2015 ranking of the most walkable U.S. cities with populations exceeding 300,000. New York, the nation’s most walkable city, has increased its lead over San Francisco, which came in second. The two cities essentially tied for first place in 2011.
“New York is clearly leading the way in walkability by reclaiming space from cars for people,” Walk Score cofounder Matt Lerner says. “One look at Times Square shows how New York has become a leader. It’s just one example of a place that went from being a gridlocked road full of cars to a park for pedestrians.”
Jumping into the top five most walkable cities, Miami’s Walk Score increased more than three points since 2011.
“People can now walk where they used to have to drive, especially in neighborhoods like Wynwood and the Design District, where a lot of new restaurants and shopping and entertainment centers have opened up,” says Aaron Drucker, Miami market manager for Redfin. “Even in traditionally walkable areas, like South Beach, public transportation is improving and becoming a more attractive option as parking rates and traffic are both on the rise.”
Detroit has seen a 2.2-point Walk Score increase since 2011 to 52.2 this year.
“Downtown Detroit has become noticeably more walkable over the past few years thanks to Dan Gilbert’s initiative to move his company, Quicken Loans, and others from the suburbs back to the heart of the city,” says Lauren Buttazzoni, Redfin market manager in Detroit. “Following these companies [is] a slew of new restaurants, locally owned shops, and small businesses. It’s not just millennials, but families and people of all generations who want to live near work and enjoy the action and amenities of city living. As a result, real estate in the city is in great demand, new lofts and condos are being built, and prices—in rents and sales alike—are rising. It has all been a great boon for the motor city.”
New Orleans is another city with an improving Walk Score as the city continues to reinvent itself following Hurricane Katrina, with an increase from 55.6 in 2011 to 56.3.
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