Image via Graham Coreil-Allen/flickr Creative Commons 3.0 license.
Suburban life has always been synonymous with long hours in the car– going to work, school, the grocery store, the mall, soccer practice and friends’ homes. Some people even drive to take a walk.
Image via Arlington County/flickr Creative Commons 2.0 license.
10 More Suburbs Making Great Strides in Walking
Walking is gaining ground in many post-World War II suburban communities, including:
Edina, Minnesota—In 1956 this town just outside Minneapolis inaugurated the modern suburban era by opening the first enclosed shopping mall surrounded by vast acres of parking. Now Edina is working hard to evolve into a 21st century suburb, where there’s a place for walking and biking too.
Lakewood, Colorado—This Denver suburb traded a failed shopping mall for a built-from-scratch downtown offering shops, homes, offices, restaurants, Whole Foods, Target, a town common, a bowling alley and an Irish pub, all within close and pleasurable walking distance.
Bethesda, Silver Spring & White Flint, Maryland—Real estate developer and business professor Christopher Leinberger calls the DC region the most walkable metropolitan area in the US, edging out New York City on the strength of its suburban areas. Indeed, Silver Spring, White Flint and Bethesda may someday challenge Arlington for the title of America’s most walkable suburb.
Kirkland, University Place, Smamamish, Redmond & Bellevue Washington—Seattle is neck-and-neck with DC for pioneering walkable suburbs. Dan Burden, one of America’s leading experts on pedestrian friendly communities who works with Blue Zones, lists these five towns as taking big steps: Kirkland, Bellevue, University Place, Redmond and Sammamish.
And it’s worth keeping an eye on Tigard, Oregon, a Portland suburb, whose city council passed a resolution last November to make the community “the most walkable city in the Pacific Northwest.