Maybe when you come home after a long day at the office you enjoy taking a stroll around the neighborhood either before or after dinner.
Perhaps your neighborhood is one that is lined with sidewalks, just right for bicycles, strollers, skateboards, as well as feet.
If your Tampa Florida neighborhoods is feet friendly, then count yourself lucky because the Walkable and Livable Communities (WALC) Institute deemed Tampa last in a ranking of 30 United States cities in 2007. Tampa is attempting to make strides in the area but it has a long way to go.
The WALC is an educational, non-profit organization working to create healthy, connected communities that support active living and that advance opportunities for all people through walkable streets, livable cities and better built environments. The Institute inspires, teaches, connects and supports communities in their efforts to improve health and well being.
THE WALC is serious about cities throughout the country being more walkable. In 2010 the Port Townsend, Wash., based institute donated more than $130,000 in services to communities and organizations throughout the country. In addition, the Institute donated grant-writing services to secure another $135,000 in funding for two municipalities, including $110,000 in a sidewalk grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board for Sheridan Street in Port Townsend.
A large part of what the Institute promotes is walkability – being able to travel from place to place without a car.
The number one city on the list was Washington, D.C. as the most walkable places per capita. Some of the examined data included in the study was the number of jobs the city has and retail or cultural institutions that bring in people who don’t live there.
Other high-ranking cities include Boston’s Beacon Hill, Miami’s Coconut Grove and the Houston area’s Sugar Land Town Square.
Many cities abandoned the idea of creating walkable cities after the automobile was invented. It seemed that city planners and real estate developers became fixated on profitable strip-mall formula and decided to stay with it.
Authors attribute Washington’s top spot to its large residence of 20- and 30-somethings, along with its public transportation star, the Metro. It was created 31 years ago and commerce areas sprung up around Metro stops. Stores and restaurants in close proximity, in addition to housing, makes residential living more enticing, as well as walkable.
There are things that Tampa officials can and may do in the future to improve its ranking. Until they do, take advantage of your own neighborhood by lacing up your shoes and going for a walk. If you'd like to find a good walkable neighborhood contact a Tampa Realtor