Long Beach isn’t just the most walkable city in Southern California—it’s one of the ten most walkable cities in the entire nation according to Walk Score.
Walk Score, an advocacy company owned by real estate giant Redfin, annually rates cities with over 300,000 people in their walkability; that is, the ability for a city’s denizens to walk if they so choose for daily needs, exercise, and entertainment. For the first time ever, a SoCal city has edged its way into the Top 10—in this case, Long Beach, edging out Baltimore by a third of a point.
“Recognizing Long Beach as the most walkable city in Southern California, and one of the most walkable in the entire country, is a testament to the hard work we’ve been doing to improve and expand pedestrian infrastructure and support safe and convenient travel for everyone,” stated Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We intend to continue making Long Beach a great place to walk and to live, work and visit.”
All of the top 10 cities saw an increase in their respective Walk Score ratings, indicating that the nation’s most walkable cities are becoming even more walkable. Of the top 50 most walkable cities, only two, Honolulu and Columbus, improved by less than a point. Long Beach represented the largest increase amongst the Top 10 cities, with it’s score going from 65.8 to 69 over the the course of the past year.
So what contributed most to Long Beach’s 3.2 point increase over last year? unquestionably: DTLB. The city’s most walkable neighborhood scored a walker’s-paradise score of 92, a four-point increase over last year thanks to the increase in eateries, housing, and placemaking.
“A renaissance has been happening in Downtown Long Beach, which now has a Walk Score of 92,” stated Michelle Zabukovec of Redfin, the organization which owns Walk Score. “In addition to some brand new buildings, developers are rehabilitating structures that were already in place. The city has even created an incentive program for rehabilitation projects, and has also focused on improving walkability by adding more pedestrian lighting to create safer sidewalks. One example of this is the Pine Avenue Improvement Project.”
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