Chicago improves walkability: How it ranked No. 6 nationwide

by James F. McClister


Walkability has become one of the chief concerns among U.S. homebuyers, especially Millennials. And as Redfin’s new “Most Walkable U.S. Cities of 2016” report confirms, some cities are responding to the demand better than others.

“Improving a city’s Walk Score takes work. In these communities, construction crews have built an invitation for walking,” said Eric Scharnhorst, livability analyst at Redfin. “Safer sidewalks are now connected to a greater variety of everyday amenities. This creates opportunities for both local businesses and families.“

Chicago is one of the communities Scharnhorst is referencing, as the city was named No. 6 on Redfin’s list; a ranking it’s held since before 2014.

Chicago’s government has made concerted efforts to modernize the city, making it not only more walkable, but also turning it into one of the most-bike-friendly metros in the country. Some have speculated that the city’s walkability could be correlated with increased property values.

According to Walk Score, from where Redfin drew its data, the most walkable neighborhoods in Chicago are the Near North Side, East Ukrainian Village and the West Loop.

Rank City Walk Score Change from 2015
1 New York 88.9 1.3
2 San Francisco 85.7 1.7
3 Boston 80.1 1.2
4 Philadelphia 78.3 1.7
5 Miami 78.2 2.6
6 Chicago 77.5 2.7
7 Washington, D.C. 77 2.9
8 Seattle 72.9 2.1
9 Oakland 71.5 3
10 Long Beach, Calif. 69 3.2

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