A latest report shows 95% of Chinese cities score highly on measures of walkability - how easy it is for pedestrians to get around during their daily lives.
The China Urban Walkability Report was released on Friday by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international nonprofit environmental organization. The report evaluated street walkability in 287 Chinese cities. The result showed that 95% of cities score 60 points or more out of a possible 100, meaning that they considered the majority of Chinese cities to be "somewhat walkable" or "very walkable".
Scores were calculated by analyzing hundreds of walking routes and awarding points based on the distance to nearby amenities. Amenities within a 5-minute walk (about 400 meters) were given maximum points. The further away the amenities were, the lower the score received, with no points given if they were more than a 30-minute walk away.
Amenities included shops, restaurants, and schools, which promote walking in local streets. Cities with streets scoring an average of 90 to 100 points are a "walker's paradise", meaning "daily errands do not require a car." Cities scoring between 70 and 89 points are "very walkable", meaning "most errands can be accomplished on foot." Cities scoring between 50 and 69 points are "somewhat walkable", meaning "some errands can be accomplished on foot."
The only city in China that scored above 90 points was Bazhong City in Sichuan Province. Xiamen topped the list of 36 capital and major cities, with a score of 83.3 points. Out of the 36 capital and major cities, 12 cities scored above 80 points.
When grouped by population size, 6 out of the 12 cities with a population of 5 million people or more exceeded 80 points. Within this group, the city with the highest score was Shantou, followed by Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai.
The report was jointly conducted by Natural Resources Defense Council, School of Architecture in Tsinghua University and Beijing City Lab.