Originally Posted by Cirrus
If we're talking walkability as opposed to transit, I think the mid-sized 19th century cities need to be higher than people are giving them credit for.
Here's my take. Subgroups within the same tier are intended to be approximately equal, except for perhaps within Tier 1, where Subgroup 1A is "above" 1B.
Tier 1 - The cosmopolitan capitals
Separated because it's so much bigger.
The other top cities.
Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal
Tier 2 - Better than average
19th Century cities with bones similar to Tier 1B cities, that remain relatively intact but that haven't grown as much recently and don't have quite the high level of activity.
Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New Orleans
Cities with 20th Century bones that have a high degree of walkability. These cities might be less walkable over large areas than cities in 2A, but may have small peaks of walkability that reach a very high level. Compared to subgroup 2A the most walkable areas of these cities will be better, but a smaller percentage of the city as whole will be walkable.
Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Miami Beach, Las Vegas (?)
Tier 3 - The great mass in the middle
19th/early 20th Century cities similar to 2A, but with smaller walkable areas. Also, some of the larger 19th Century cities that have degraded and have large gaps, but still have some sizable walkable areas.
Columbus, Richmond, Louisville, Indianapolis, Hartford, Providence, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Kansas City
20th Century cities similar to 2B, but smaller and/or with a lower peak.
Minneapolis, Denver, Las Vegas (?), San Antonio, Austin, San Diego, Sacramento,
Very small 19th/early 20th Century cities, which remain very intact.
Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, New Haven, Harrisburg, etc
Very small 20th Century cities, which have a particularly high degree of walkability (most college towns go here).
Madison, Boulder, etc
Tier 4 - Below average
19th/early 20th Century cities that have degraded so much that they don't have many walkable areas, even though their urban bones are strong.
Cleveland, Buffalo, Detroit
Large late 20th Century cities with OK downtowns but poor walkability outside of downtown.
Atlanta, Dallas, Houston
Small 20th Century cities with average downtowns.
Boise, Roanoke, Green Bay, Toledo, etc
Tier 5 - Hopeless*
Large metropolitan areas almost totally given over to cars.
Tampa, Charlotte, Phoenix, Orlando, San Jose, Nashville, Virginia Beach, Jacksonville, El Paso, Tulsa, Oklahoma City
Smaller cities almost totally given over to cars.
Topeka, Spartanburg, Naples, Colorado Springs, etc
* Don't get hung up on the title, folks. It's just for sorting purposes. The tiering is what's important, not the name of each group.