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Screw you Cincinnati, LA is more Walkable than you!

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Back in July, LAist and you, our dear readers, had some fun with Walk Score, a site that lets you punch in your address and spits out a walkability score for your neighborhood. Some Los Angeles neighborhoods earned a very respectable "walkers paradise" rating and some just plain sucked (that's what you get when you live on Quakertown Ave. in the northwest Valley).

A recent Brookings Institute study finds that Los Angeles ranks 12th in a field survey of walkable urban places in the top 30 U.S. metropolitan areas. Washington DC came in 1st and New York City at number 10. In California, San Francisco ranked 3rd while San Diego nudged up against Los Angeles at 11th.

The report, by visiting fellow Christopher B. Leinberger, is based on “walkable places” per capita (for Los Angeles, the metro area of 16 million was considered, not just city limits). Model areas for walkability include Downtown, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Culver City, Westwood, Century City, the Valencia Town Center, Costa Mesa and the South Coast Town Center.

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Valencia Town Center? Doesn't that place rely completely on car and truck transportation? Leinberg says that walkable urban places identified in the survey do not all have have rail transit. "However, many of the non-rail served walkable urban places in the survey have plans to be rail-served in the short-term; a condition referred to as being "transit-ready." While we are skeptical that Santa Clarita will have light rail anytime soon, it does explain other neighborhoods not connected by transit.

Not listed is Mid-Wilshire, which is identified as a neighborhood that is "not yet at critical mass but probably will be over the next decade." Critical mass is defined as a place where new development projects do not need significant public or private subsidies to proceed with the next new project.

Leinberg also has a book. Gothamist Editor Jen Chung explains:

The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream, which explains that for many years U.S. government has focused on suburban development, driven by the auto and oil industries, which has "fostered the decline of community, contributed to urban decay, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and contributed to the rise in obesity and asthma." He believes that there's a movement towards "walkable urbanism," (as in people flocking towards areas with mass transit) saying, "How the American dream plays out on the ground is changing. Rather than building only 'Leave it to Beaver' neighborhoods, we are building walkable, Seinfeld-like places." Real life as Seinfeld? Sweet fancy Moses!

The complete list of U.S. walkable cities:

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1. Washington
2. Boston
3. San Francisco
4. Denver
5. Portland
6. Seattle
7. Chicago
8. Miami
9. Pittsburgh
10. New York
11. San Diego
12. Los Angeles
13. Philadelphia
14. Atlanta
15. Baltimore
16. St. Louis
17. Minneapolis
18. Detroit
19. Columbus
20. Las Vegas
21. Houston
22. San Antonio
23. Kansas City
24. Orlando
25. Dallas
26. Phoenix
27. Sacramento
28. Cincinnati
29. Cleveland
30. Tampa

Photo by Here in Van Nuys via Flickr