Bogotá, Hong Kong, London and Paris have been named among the most walkable cities in the world, according to a report by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) in New York.
The report looked at almost 1,000 cities and ranked them in three categories. Of those with over 5 million people, only Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia, was in the top five in all three.
The first category looked at the number of people living within 100 meters of a place with no cars, like a park. Hong Kong was top of this category, with 85% of people living within 100 meters of such an area. It was followed by Moscow and Paris.
The report also looked at the number of people living within a kilometer of education and health services. Paris was best with 85%, followed by Lima in Peru and London in the UK.
The third category looked at the average size of city blocks, since smaller blocks make it easier for people to walk to places they want to go. Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, was highest in this category, followed by Bogotá and Lima, then Karachi, Pakistan, and Tokyo, Japan.
Taylor Reich, an ITDP researcher, said that big cities in the US were the least walkable. “Everything is so far apart,” he said, making it very hard to walk most places. Indianapolis in Indiana was the country’s least walkable city.
The ITDP says walkable cities are good for health, communities and the environment. However, it also says that walkable cities “don’t happen by accident” — they need to be planned.