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100 Largest U.S. Cities Ranked on Walking Friendliness

By sarah | March 6, 2007

New York, NY (March 6, 2007)- The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and Prevention magazine have teamed up once again to study the walkability of 100 of the country’s most populated cities.

Madison, WI, tops the list as the Best Fitness-Walking City in America, followed by Austin, TX, and San Francisco, CA. The Worst Fitness-Walking Cities are Newark, NJ; Laredo, TX; and Miami, FL, respectively.
Researchers ranked 100 cities based on fitness-walker friendliness using comprehensive criteria, including new factors, such as’s list of walkable communities and the number of athletic shoes sold in a city, as well as the percentage of the adult population who walk for health, the accessibility of parks and more.
Top 10 Best Fitness-Walking Cities of 2007
1. Madison, WI: Adopted a walker-friendly plan 10 years ago, and it shows.
2. Austin, TX: 50 trails, from a quarter to 10 miles long.
3. San Francisco, CA: The most parks per square mile.
4. Charlotte, NC: 40% of its residents walk for exercise.
5. Seattle, WA: Gorgeous views of Puget Sound and snowcapped mountains.
6. Henderson, NV: With an average yearly rainfall of 4.5 inches, you can walk everyday.
7. San Diego, CA: A unique choice of beach, desert and mountain routes.
8. San Jose, CA: Perfect walking weather; average temp 61 degrees and low humidity.
9. Chandler, AZ: 6.5 miles of traffic-free walking on its Paseo Trail.
10. Virginia Beach, VA: A low crime rate and a boardwalk allow safe, fun strolling.
Bottom 5 Worst Fitness-Walking Cities of 2007
100. Newark, NJ: Has a high crime rate, few parks, and few people who take mass transit-as well as the third smallest percentage of people who walk for exercise.
99. Laredo, TX: Poor air quality and the least amount of people taking mass transit.
98. Miami, FL: The fifth highest crime rate may explain why very few people walk for health.
97. Hialeah, FL: Very few parks and schools per square mile and had the second to last number of people who walk for health.
96. Detroit, MI: With a high rate of pedestrian fatalities and high crime rates, is it any wonder Motor City had the smallest percentage of people who walk for health?
Selection criteria included:
* Percentage Who Walk/Bike to Work
* Population Density
* Urban Sprawl Index
* Air Quality Index
* Violent Crime Incidents/100,000
* Historic Sites & Landmarks
The top-ten list is featured in the April issue of Prevention, the annual Walking Issue. To see a full list of the city rankings and the study criteria, or to learn more about the healthy benefits of walking, follow the related resources below.
About APMA
Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association represents the nation’s premier foot and ankle physicians. The Association has component societies in 53 locations in the US and its territories and a membership of close to 11,500 doctors of podiatric medicine.
Related Resources:
City Walkability Rankings
Selection criteria and FAQs
American Podiatric Medical Association
Prevention Magazine

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