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Conde Nast Names Columbus As One Of The Most Walkable Cities In U.S.

Hold the phone, Columbus! Did you know we just landed on Conde Nast’s list of the most walkable cities in the US? Yeah, I was as surprised as you are. No red carpets or acceptance speeches, just a casual acknowledgment that our city is kind of a cool spot for pedestrians.

So, Smart Growth America’s 2023 Foot Traffic Ahead Report spilled the beans on why Columbus made the cut. The report dove into the EPA’s Smart Location Database and the American Enterprise Institute’s Walkable Oriented Development Database. It turns out our city is set up for easy walks to the essentials – groceries, offices, gyms, you name it.

We can attribute some of our newfound success to historic neighborhoods like Victorian Village and German Village. But there’s also been a huge push for more downtown development over the last decade, and it’s starting to really pay off.

The determining factor here is something called development density. Our buildings are cozy close, creating an urban vibe that makes Columbus a laid-back walker’s paradise.

Now, as some residents here will tell you, this certainly still feels like a car city.

We love COTA, but our lack of rapid transit is already starting to impact Columbus. While we have the potential for some passenger rail in the state, a comprehensive public transit system would certainly benefit our city’s walkability in the future.

For the wanderlust-infused tourists, a walkable city is a breath of fresh air. Fewer honking horns and bumper-to-bumper traffic – just the freedom to explore the streets, discover hidden gems, and soak in the local culture. Smart Growth America told Conde Nast that American travelers are drawn to cities that encourage exploration by foot, and Columbus is certainly growing in that spirit. You can see the full list from Conde Nast below.

The 20 most walkable cities in the US

    1. New York
    2. Boston
    3. Washington, D.C.
    4. Seattle
    5. Portland
    6. San Francisco
    7. Chicago
    8. Los Angeles
    9. Pittsburgh
    10. Philadelphia
    11. Minneapolis-St. Paul
    12. Miami
    13. Charlotte
    14. Austin
    15. Atlanta
    16. Denver
    17. Cleveland
    18. Houston
    19. Columbus
    20. Baltimore