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Los Angeles Rates 14 on 'Best Walking Cities' List

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Why did Los Angeles make Prevention Magazine's "25 Best Walking Cities" list? As they say, "once a cement pipe storage yard, the Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park offers lush vegetation and paths for strolling on 8.5 acres right in the heart of the city." There's no doubt that this South LA park is a great public space, but it being the reason Los Angeles is number 14 seems a bit unscientific

This is not to say we don't have some great walking neighborhoods such as downtown, but let's check why other cities made the list. San Francisco made was number one because "the city government devotes 12 agencies to walking issues." San Diego was honored because of their pedestrian improvements and Austin has "50 miles of scenic paths connect all areas of the city" (similarly, Santa Clarita to north of LA has over 60 miles of paths and paseos connecting the city together).

They say there is more methodology, but that fact is only mentioned in a press release: "Metro areas were evaluated based on 19 criteria including population density per square mile, use of mass transit, crime rates, and square miles of local and state parks. Prevention, [American Podiatric Medical Association], and Sperling’s Best Places also consulted with a panel of nationally recognized experts in the field of walking communities." However, no further information was provided on the methodology.

On a more realistic note, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Francisco did get a nod for "amazing nature walks." That makes sense considering the Santa Monica Mountains--one of four ranges within the city--practically bisects Los Angeles in half. With that said, get out and enjoy our city.