The healthiest, most economically advantaged and sustainable cities on the planet share one trait: their walkability.
Walkable cities are better for the environment, people’s overall wellness, and positively impact levels of wealth. Unfortunately for those of us in the United States, a lot of our cities were built around cars — not feet. For as much as folks love the walkability of New York, Boston, Minneapolis, and Savannah, they dislike in equal measure the sprawl of other beloved cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
Recent pushes for healthier urban designs across the country are changing the landscape of cities. Central Park, arguably the world’s most famous green space, will be permanently closed to cars as of this June. Meanwhile Los Angeles, leader of car culture, has found itself in the throes of an “infrastructure renaissance” to become more pedestrian and eco-friendly. And 62 percent of millennials today say they prefer to live in pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhoods.