Why Boston is consider a good citt for those who like to walk? When living in an urban area, the walkability of the neighborhood is probably a big factor in determining how happy you are. A walkable neighborhood makes it easier to reach public transportation, schools, shopping, and parks without hopping in the car and worrying about traffic and parking. If you’re interested in Boston, here are five things that can boost the walkability rating for Boston neighborhoods.

1. Walking Distance to Amenities

The primary way to score a neighborhood’s walkability is by analyzing walking paths to nearby amenities like restaurants, parks, shopping, and public spaces. A neighborhood earns points based on how easy it is to walk to amenities in every category. The area earns the most points if it has amenities within a 5-minute walk, but it earns no points if you need to walk at least 30 minutes, which is estimated by a distance of 1 mile.

2. Road Metrics

It isn’t enough to be close to amenities. It also needs to be easy to reach them. A neighborhood’s walkability score considers important road metrics like the length of blocks in the area, intersection density, and whether there are sidewalks to determine how easy and pleasant it is to walk in the community. Walking across a large parking lot feels a lot longer than walking on a sidewalk lined with shops and bars. A neighborhood with a pedestrian-friendly layout rather than a design made primarily for drivers will be considered more walkable.

3. Population Density

The higher the population density, the higher a neighborhood tends to rank in terms of walkability. Suburbs are usually not pedestrian friendly because there is very little diversity of land use. Homes may stretch for several miles without businesses and parks. Downtown communities tend to be the most densely populated with condo developments and a high amount of mixed-use real estate. With a denser population also comes traffic congestion, which makes it more convenient to walk.

4. Distance to Public Transportation

When public transit stops aren’t within walking distance, they aren’t used very often. A neighborhood will earn the highest walkability score when it supports an easy car-free lifestyle, which means public transportation should be accessible and within a quarter-mile to a half-mile.

5. Crime Ratings

The ability to walk to shopping and dining opportunities doesn’t mean much if the neighborhood isn’t very safe. There is a good argument that a walkable neighborhood reduces crime with more eyes on the street and a mass of people. Still, when moving to a new neighborhood, its crime rate should be considered alongside its walkability. A community’s Crime Grade can help you understand your personal risk of being a victim of crime in the area compared to citywide rates.


Whether you’re interested in condos in Beacon Hill or lofts in Leather District, Boston offers great potential for walkability in the downtown areas. Get in touch with Ford Realty to begin your search for your dream property. Call  617-720-5454 today to speak with one of our qualified agents.

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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