Long Beach Named One of the 10 Most Walkable Cities in Nation

Photo by Brian Addison.

Long Beach squeaked into the Top 10 most walkable cities according to a report from WalkScore—and that’s largely due to DTLB increasing its WalkScore yet again, from 92 last year to 93, while other key neighborhoods like the Gayborhood (83) and Belmont Shore (84) help anchor the walkability of the city as a whole.

This also makes Long Beach the most walkable city in Southern California and scoring a spot in the Top 10 for the second year running, sitting behind New York at No. 1 followed by San Francisco (best in state), Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle, and Oakland.

Transferring public real estate away from the car and over to a bike or a skater or a human allows us to recognize something we’re losing: the human as a simple tool; that we, in and of ourselves, are tools of power.

Walk Score is an organization whose sole mission is to supply housing information while increasing walkability across the nation. With a “walker’s paradise” score, DTLB easily ousts popular nearby cities like Santa Monica (83) while coming in close to huge downtowns like DTLA (which jumped from 93 to 95 thanks to a plethora of housing, development, and businesses moving in).

There’s more to walking than it seems—and it is always hard to understand the power of walking because we are continually inundated with speed—drive here, speed here, get from Point A to Point B as quick as possible—and we’ve continually touted that it’s important to examine speed (or what philosopher Paul Virilio called “dromology,” the study of speed: “[A]cceleration has been the prime cause of the proliferation of major accidents”).

We, as humans, have always felt the need to do what we do faster—beyond stronger, beyond smarter, beyond more efficient: just faster.

What this has done, as I’ve noted noted, is that we’ve become removed the world is from human scale. Transferring public real estate away from the car and over to a bike or a skater or a human allows us to recognize something we’re losing: the human as a simple tool; that we, in and of ourselves, are tools of power.

This is why I se walkability is so uttelry important. It not only enables people to explore their neighborhoods with the ability to actually see it, it stirs economy and increases safety.

And frankly put, it’s DTLB that is leading the way.

“A renaissance has been happening in Downtown Long Beach, which now has a Walk Score of 92,” stated Michelle Zabukovec of Redfin, the organization which owns Walk Score. “In addition to some brand new buildings, developers are rehabilitating structures that were already in place. The city has even created an incentive program for rehabilitation projects, and has also focused on improving walkability by adding more pedestrian lighting to create safer sidewalks.”

When it comes to other changes in the Top 10, two city we need to most examine are Miami.

Miami has been wholly embracing density and the result has been one of the most steady increases in walkability anywhere in the nation.

“Developers are seeing an overall trend in people who desire to live, work and play within the same neighborhood,” said Aaron Drucker, a Redfin real estate agent in Miami. “Developers have focused on popular, urban neighborhoods like Wynwood, Midtown, Brickell, South Beach and Coconut Grove, constructing high rises, multi-family homes and condominiums.This has led to population increases, creating density that didn’t exist in Miami years ago.”

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.