Boston is one of the most walkable cities in America, according to a study out of George Washington University.
The study, released Wednesday, found that real estate development in the Greater Boston area is contributing to the walkable persona, as recent development has been geared more towards urban walking areas.
Areas like this, where virtually everything is within walking distance, called walkUP’s, are often high density areas, with public transit close.
The study, which was done in collaboration with Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and LOCUS, a coalition of real estate developers, found 57 walkable urban places throughout the local Boston area. Many of these areas are inhabited by “millennials,” looking for essentials within walking distance, and easy access to public transportation.
With all the snow in Boston, and the trouble with the MBTA this past winter, many are looking to make walking an everyday form of transportation.
“It is always great for Boston to be recognized for walkability, but there are many opportunities to make it better. Slower vehicle speeds on neighborhood streets will help create safer places for people of all ages to walk,” said Brendan Kearney, a spokesman of WalkBoston.
The non-profit organization, based out of Old City Hall, works to keep walkUP’s and walkable areas in Boston alive and thriving.
“We also need to ensure that we're responding to demand for walkable urban places not just in Boston but all across Massachusetts. The connection between walking and transit is very important; transit is the middle leg of a walking trip,” said Kearney.
They focus on improving walking conditions, including snow removal and safe school routes, in cities and towns across Massachusetts, through political advocacy and public education. Representing over 101 cities and towns across the state, the group is a large advocate for not only Boston to be one of the most walkable cities, but one of the few across Massachusetts.