Tag Archives: walkability

Building a more livable Birmingham with the AARP

Image from Complete Streets FlyerNo, this event is not just open to those current members of the AARP here in Alabama but to those who’ll eventually be among its ranks here in metro Birmingham.

Next week, Dan Burden, a Florida-based, internationally recognized voice on the issue of walkable, livable communities, will be leading sessions in downtown Birmingham (close to Railroad Park) and in Fairfield (where the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham is spearheading a revitalization of the Bessemer Superhighway) for all residents – young and old alike – to look at how these areas can be made more livable.

The sessions will include letting residents do walking audits of the areas in question and opportunities to influence those responsible for making the necessary changes. The organizers of the event have provided a flyer to share with you (one that suggests that the proposals developed in these sessions will be considered as next steps). It contains information about how to RSVP for the limited spaces available during these full day sessions.

A look at walkability in Birmingham (and Alabama)

WalkScore screenshotWalk Score‘s recent aggregation of scores for the nation’s 2,500 largest cities had us wondering just where Birmingham ranked. The site determines the “walkability” of any location based on how close it is to amenities like banks, groceries and restaurants.

We compared the city’s score (40) with those from cities that the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce visited as part of the B.I.G. trips taken between 2002-2008. They’re listed in the order that they were visited:

  • St. Louis, MO – 61 (348,366)
  • Baltimore, MD – 65 (652,670)
  • Charlotte, NC – 39 (564,023)
  • Nashville, TN – 39 (545,623)
  • Pittsburgh, PA – 67 (334,059)
  • Denver, CO – 64 (553,515)
  • Austin, TX – 51 (661,212)

It’s interesting to note that none of the cities listed above were the most walkable in their state, though they all made the top ten lists of their respective states.

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