Walkability and the City Beauty Quotient

February 22, 2009
There's no shortage of writing and conjecture on New York City when it comes to urban and city issues. But one subject that has been neglected in the urban academic discourse is the city's incredible concentration of beautiful women.

It's amazing. It's like you can't avoid them, not that you'd want to. Walking down the street in New York City is like walking down a fashion runway. With cross traffic. And no security guards trying to tackle you.

I've been to the city a number of times and while it is great and everything, there's no need to gush over it as so many have and so many will in these sorts of discussions about urban areas. But I think it's important to illuminate this aspect of the city that I've definitely noticed, which for purely academic purposes I'll call the city beauty quotient. And I'm not alone. My buddies have noticed it in their travels as well – and these guys are not planners or "urbanists" or academics or whatever we'd like to call ourselves. They are simply my bros. But they're also users of the city – the users planners and theoreticians aim to serve.

I've had conversations with these users of the city after they return from trips to New York, and they typically marvel at what I too have marveled at. I mean, these women are everywhere. I'm no creeper, and I'm not just in the city to gawk at women, but it's hard for me and my equally not-creepy friends to ignore the fact that we see an awesomely high volume of beautiful women walking around New York City.

But there's the key. When you walk around in New York City, you see beautiful girls (or guys, if that's your thing) doing exactly what you're doing: walking.