On the Record

Walkable Urbanism

Christopher B. Leinberger and Nicole Lapin

Chris Leinberger discusses his book about the most walkable urban and metro areas in the United States with Nicole Lapin from CNN.

NICOLE LAPIN: Walkable Urbanism.  Well, it’s spreading beyond the boundaries of inner cities and into suburbs as Gen-Xers and empty nesters are searching for communities offering a walkable lifestyle. Well, all of this is according to a brand new book The Option of Urbanism Investing in a New American Dream.  The book was written in conjunction with the survey by the Brookings Institution. Brookings basically compiled a list of the best places for a car-less walkable urban lifestyle. Where you can basically: work, go home, go shopping, go to school, see entertainment all within a walking distance. So joining me now to talk more about this whole idea, the new ‘American Dream,’ is the author of that book Chris Leinberger. He joins us live from the Brookings Institution. Chris, thank you so much.

CHRIS LEINBERGER: Why thank you Nicole.

NICOLE LAPIN: Okay, first of all, let’s talk about this list because I got in my car this morning in Atlanta. I’m assuming Atlanta is not on the list?

CHRIS LEINBERGER: It’s sort of in the middle of the list – it’s not towards the top.

NICOLE LAPIN: Okay, so the top ten, can we start out, what’s number one?

CHRIS LEINBERGER: Number one is Washington, D.C. – and again we are talking about the metropolitan area.

NICOLE LAPIN: So, basically the west end, west of downtown, that has changed so much lately.

CHRIS LEINBERGER: Yes it has, but downtown itself has probably been the most remarkable downtown turnaround in the country. But, then all of the downtown adjacent places like the west end – which was an old industrial section – that’s almost now built out. Dupont Circle which was dangerous twenty years ago is now a very elegant place and three or four other places around downtown, so it’s not just downtown. 

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