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Here Are the Most Walkable Cities in the U.S.

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We've already shared which cities should be on your radar if you're thinking of ditching your car for public transit. Now the George Washington University School of Business and advocacy group Smart Growth America have released their new findings on where to move if walking is your preferred mode of transportation, Fast Company reports.

The report measured the "walkability" of America's 30 largest cities by looking at the proportions of walkable occupied office, retail, and multi-family development space relative to other occupied square footage in the same area. Perhaps unsurprisingly, New York City came out on top even though 80 percent of its walkable areas are concentrated in the single borough of Manhattan. Other top-ranking cities included Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle.

They also named the cities you should avoid if you're looking for more opportunities to stretch your legs. San Diego, Dallas, Las Vegas, Tampa, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Orlando were ranked at the bottom of the list.

It's easy to see how walking can have a positive impact on your health, but as the report found, living in a walkable neighborhood offers other benefits as well. Moderate income households living in the highest ranked cities devoted just 19 percent of their budget to transportation, compared to 27 percent spent by those in lower ranking areas. Other positive correlations: most walkable cities were also shown to be wealthier, more highly educated, and more "socially equitable" overall.

If you aren't currently living in a city that's especially easy to navigate on foot, there's still hope for the future. Cities that show promise for becoming walkable destinations down the road include Detroit, Phoenix, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Miami, Atlanta, and Cleveland.

[h/t Fast Company]

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What Do You Get the Person Who Has Everything? Perhaps a German Village for Less Than $150,000
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Looking for a gift for the world traveler who has everything? If cost isn't an issue and they're longing for a quiet country home, Fortune reports that an entire village in East Germany is up for sale. The tiny hamlet of Alwine, in Germany's Brandenburg region, is going up for auction on Saturday, December 9. Opening bids begin at $147,230.

Alwine has around one dozen buildings and 20 full-time residents, most of them elderly. It was once owned by a neighboring coal plant, which shut down in 1991, soon after East Germany reunited with West Germany. Many residents left after that. Between 1990 and 2015, the regional population fell by 15 percent, according to The Local.


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In 2000, a private investor purchased the decaying hamlet for just one Deutsche Mark (the currency used before the euro). But its decline continued, and now it's up for grabs once more—this time around, for a much-higher price.

Andreas Claus, the mayor of the district surrounding Alwine, wasn't informed of the village's sale until he heard about it in the news, according to The Local. While no local residents plan to purchase their hometown, Claus says he's open to fostering dialogue with the buyer, with hopes of eventually revitalizing the local community.

[h/t Fortune]

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Spelunkers Discover New Caverns in Montréal's Ancient Cave Network
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An ancient cave system beneath a Montréal park is much more vast than experts believed, the National Post reports.

In 1812, a farmer discovered a cave underneath his property in Montréal’s present-day Saint-Léonard borough. Once used to stockpile ammunition and conceal soldiers during the Rebellions of 1837, the Saint-Léonard cave system in Parc Pie XII is today a tourist attraction and historical landmark. But some speleologists (cave experts) suspected there was more to the natural wonder than met the eye.

Beginning in 2014, two amateur explorers named Daniel Caron and Luc Le Blanc began searching for undiscovered passages in the Saint-Léonard caverns, according to National Geographic. By 2015 they had some leads; in October 2017, they used drills and hammers to break down a cave’s wall to reveal a new cavern.

The stalactite-filled chamber has soaring 20-foot ceilings, and it's connected to a serpentine network of underground tunnels. These passages formed during the Ice Age around 15,000 years ago, when glacier pressure splintered underground rock.

So far, Caron and Le Blanc have explored between 820 to 1640 feet of virgin cave passage, and expect to find even more. They believe the vast network sits atop an aquifer, and ultimately leads to the Montréal water table.

Spelunking the Saint-Léonard cave system is challenging—some passages are filled with water or require special climbing or rock-breaking equipment. The explorers hope that the caves will be easier to investigate during the dry season, and that the receding waters will allow them to reach new depths below Montréal’s surface.

[h/t National Post]

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