D.C. named the most walkable city in the nation

Researchers named the District the most walkable city in the country based on the number and spread of office buildings and retail spaces. Hatchet File Photo
D.C. is the most walkable urban area in the country, but maybe not for long.

The District claimed the top spot among 30 major U.S. cities in a report published Tuesday by the GW School of Business and a group of real estate investors. Researchers gave the city the title based on commercial development and transportation options in metropolitan area neighborhoods.

D.C. earned recognition for its high number and nearly even distribution of offices and stores in both suburban and urban areas. The large percentage of college students and graduates also factored into the city’s score.

But Christopher Leinberger and Patrick Lynch, both researchers at the business school’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, predict that the city will slip to the No. 2 spot behind Boston as D.C. runs out of space for development.

Leinberger is chair of the center and president of LOCUS, a network of advocates for walkable metropolitan areas. Lynch works, the center’s research and development manager, is the research director for the umbrella advocacy organization Smart Growth America.

The report also found a link between walkability and standard of living, pointing out that “the GDP per capita of the three highest-ranked walkable urban metros ($60,500) is 52 percent higher than the GDP per capita of the lowest three walkable urban metros ($39,700).”

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