The Walkable City

I’ve never been to Portland, nor do I believe everything I see on TV.

But if you watch the Ted Talk below, the city portrayed by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein may not be so different from the actual city of Portland. Some quick facts from the video:

  • When the rest of the America was investing in suburban sprawl (more roads! more highways!), Portland was investing in bike facilities
  • Portland has the most independent bookstores per capita
  • Between the last two censuses, Portland has a 50% increase in college-educated millennials (five times more than anywhere else in America)

“The Walkable City” struck me particularly because I just moved from New York (arguably the most walkable city in America) to the Bay Area, where I’m now spending at least 1.5 hours per day in a car, commuting.

Is being more sustainble what gives you a higher quality of life? I would argue the same thing that makes you more sustainble is what gives you a higher quality of life, and that’s living in a walkable neighborhood.

The correlation between walkability and higher quality of living is astounding. And one day, I do aspire to at least visit Portland.

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