Images from the world's 10 (or 11) most walkable cities
Posted November 23, 2010
Frommer’s just came out with their list of the world’s ten most walkable cities. Compact, urbane, mixed-use, resilient, every one of them. For each city, I searched the creative commons pool for an image that I thought captured its walkability, and I am now delighted to present them to you.
Before I do, though, I would be remiss if I didn’t add that we all probably have a candidate or three to add to that list. That’s part of the fun of lists like this. Me, I’m adding Geneva (photo above), which has all the key ingredients that Frommer’s picks have, plus one that most don’t: an amazingly walkable scale, because of its somewhat smaller size. On a clear day you can see Mont Blanc, too, and every day you can see Lake Geneva while you walk. Not too shabby.
In the order presented by Frommer’s on Huffington Post:
“Though the cobblestone streets may not be ideal for breaking in that new pair of Gucci stilettos, you can only really discover the soul of this historic city by foot.”
“It's almost easier to highlight where not to walk, as you can find beauty and authentic experiences throughout the city.”
“The entire old town of Dubrovnik is UNESCO World Heritage-listed so you may spend hours covering a relatively short distance.”
“New York City is a place where the best -- and often fastest -- mode of transportation is your own two legs.”
“You won't be disappointed in Vancouver, a city that seems to have been designed with exercise in mind.”
“Walking around 'The Tan' (Royal Botanic Gardens) is a Melbourne institution.”
“Watch the streetscape and the types of people change along one of the city's major fashion and entertainment thoroughfares.”
“A history lesson at every intersection, a magnificent harbor, and pedestrian-friendly streets make Boston a great city for walking.”
“With a largely pedestrian-friendly city center, the charm of ornamental public buildings, and expansive parks, Munich lets you experience Bavarian city life.”
“Steeped in history but still possessing a cutting-edge contemporary feel, Edinburgh is compact enough to discover on foot.”
The choices and the blurbs on each (significantly longer in the HuffPo post, with recommendations where to walk, along with Frommer's own images) are written more with the visitor in mind than the resident. This is Frommer’s, after all. But I’m reminded of Steve Mouzon’s “tourist test,” which holds that cities that have become popular vacation destinations were built as places to live first, and that people wanting to vacation somewhere is an indicator of a great place. (See Steve’s comment on my joint post with Lee Epstein, written several months back about characteristics of resilient places that we like to visit.)
Any nominations from readers to add to Frommer’s list of most walkable cities?
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Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment. For more posts, see his blog's home page.
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