Every year since its inception, the Walk Score rankings have placed Miami among the nation's top ten most walkable cities. In fact, last year, Miami shot up to fifth on the list. The Magic City retains that spot in the recently released 2016 rankings. But the city's raw walk score has improved by 2.6 points, and it's now only 0.1 point behind fourth-place Philadelphia.
Every year after these rankings are released, Miamians shake their heads and ask, "Who actually walks in this city?" But if you look at the actual methodology Walk Score uses, the high ranking makes sense.
"Walk Score analyzed more than 10 million locations and computed more than 2 billion walking routes for 2,500 U.S. cities," the researchers explain. "Walk Score ranking uses the Street Smart Walk Score algorithm that incorporates walking routes, the number of nearby amenities (e.g., restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores), respective distance to those amenities, pedestrian friendliness, population, and neighborhood boundary data."
The idea is not that Miamians can totally rely on their own two feet as their main form of transportation, but rather it's a ranking of how feasible it is for someone to walk to accomplish things like running a few errands or grabbing lunch close to home.
Notably, the ranking includes only cities with populations of greater than 300,000 and takes into account only places within those city's limits. So the ranking doesn't apply to, say, Hialeah or Kendall — just the city of Miami proper.
Miami perhaps benefits in the score by being one of the smallest cities by total area to anchor a major metro area. Many of the neighborhoods within its borders are densely packed. If you live in a place like downtown, Edgewater, Little Havana, the central district of Coconut Grove, or, increasingly, places like Wynwood or Little Haiti, there are no doubt plenty of walkable places nearby. To find the real suburban sprawl in Miami-Dade, you have to go to, well, the suburbs.
You can enter your address to find your own personal Walk Score here.
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We entered addresses from various Miami neighborhoods to give you an idea of how the Walk Score can vary across the county.
Miami New Times' headquarters in Wynwood has a Walk Score of 94 (a "walker's paradise").
- An address in north Edgewater scores 84.
- A Morningside home has a Walk Score of just 32.
- A home in the heart of Little Haiti scores 71.
- An Overtown address ranks 76.
- Most downtown condo buildings are in the 90s.
- A condo building in the main area of Coconut Grove has a score of 94.
- But a home in the West Grove had a score of only 31.
- A home in the Roads scored 60.
So there's variation across the map, but there are quite a few walkable neighborhoods in Miami. Perhaps the bigger problem is finding better ways to link them with public transportation.