Walkability not a strong suit of Phoenix, but change is coming

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- When it comes to being a walkable city, Phoenix is near the bottom of the list according to a recent report looking at "walkable urbanism" in 30 of the nation's largest metro areas.

Phoenix came in at No. 29, followed by Orlando. Washington, D.C. tops the ranking, followed by New York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago.

The report is called "Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America's Largest Metros." Christopher B. Leinberger and Patrick Lynch from the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business put it together.

Phoenix does not have much in the way of mixed-use areas -- residences over businesses -- and is spread out.

The study authors said Phoenix is significantly changing that way it plans for growth and zoning. They expect Phoenix to move up to No. 12 on the list in the coming years, saying Americans in general are moving away from suburbia and opting for walkable urban places.

To find out the walkability of a specific neighborhood, go to WalkScore.com.