San Marco: A Walking Oasis in an Unwalkable City

October 28, 2008 11 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Almost every city has walkable neighborhoods where it's possible to live a car-lite lifestyle.

Walkable Neighborhoods

Picture a walkable neighborhood. You lose weight each time you walk to the grocery store. You stumble home from last call without waiting for a cab. You spend less money on your car - or you don't own a car. When you shop, you support your local economy. You talk to your neighbors.


What makes a neighborhood walkable?

A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a discernible center, whether it's a shopping district, a main street, or a public space.
Density: The neighborhood is compact enough for local businesses to flourish and for public transportation to run frequently.
Mixed income, mixed use: Housing is provided for everyone who works in the neighborhood: young and old, singles and families, rich and poor. Businesses and residences are located near each other.
Parks and public space: There are plenty of public places to gather and play.
Pedestrian-centric design: Buildings are placed close to the street to cater to foot traffic, with parking lots relegated to the back.
Nearby schools and workplaces: Schools and workplaces are close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.

San Marco, Jacksonville, Florida - Walk Score 80

Although Jacksonville is ranked #40 out of 40 with a Walk Score of only 36, San Marco, Jacksonville's second most walkable neighborhood, has a Walk Score of 80.

Based on the Piazza di San Marco in Venice, Italy, San Marco's short blocks and pedestrian-oriented design make it very walkable.

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Photos by Ennis Davis