Skip to Content
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

The Top 10 American Cities Where You Can Find Jobs You Can Walk To

Can you hoof it to work? Photo: Public Domain Images
Is your job within walking distance? Photo: Public Domain Images
false

How many jobs are within a 10-minute walk of your home? How about 20 minutes? Chances are, there's a lot more if you live in Philadelphia than in Memphis.

A new study [PDF] from the University of Minnesota ranks the 50 largest metro areas in America according to the accessibility of jobs by walking. Using "detailed pedestrian networks," the researchers measured the number of jobs reachable in a 10-minute walk for the typical worker in each metro. Then they measured how many jobs were reachable within 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 minutes. To create the city rankings, those figures were then weighted to emphasize the potential for short-distance walk commutes.

In top-rated New York City, for instance, about 5,000 jobs are within a 10-minute walk of the average residence. In lowest-rated Birmingham, it's only 180 jobs.

You can check out where you city ranks here [PDF]. These are the 10 cities that came out on top:

    1. New York
    2. San Francisco
    3. Los Angeles
    4. Chicago
    5. Washington
    6. Seattle
    7. Boston
    8. Philadelphia
    9. San Jose
    10. Denver

Los Angeles fares a lot better in these rankings than in Walk Score's, which prioritize the proximity of "amenities" of all types.

Authors Andrew Owen, David Levinson and Brendan Murphy say their rankings are mainly a function of employment and residential density. Cities that ranked highest, they point out, tend to have better transit systems as well. Cities seeking better accessibility have two avenues, the authors say: pursue policies that create more compact development and improve transit.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog San Francisco

Join the Campaign Kickoff for Ocean Beach Park

Advocates release logos, FAQs, media kits, and plans for the first rally for the Ocean Beach Park campaign

July 23, 2024

Guest Post: Vision for a Permanent Great Highway Park

District 4 Supervisor Joel Engardio makes it clear he won't be cowed by drivers who oppose the Great Highway Park

July 22, 2024
See all posts