Providence ranks high for walk commutes, cozy ambiance, coffee

The capital city of Rhode Island – also known as the Renaissance City or the Creative Capital – has recently appeared among the top ranked U.S. cities in a number of lifestyle-oriented studies. More

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Providence ranks high for walk commutes, cozy ambiance, coffee

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THE CAPITAL CITY earned high marks in a number of recent lifestyle-oriented studies, placing among the country's most walkable cities, coziest cities, and best coffee cities.
Posted 1/14/14

PROVIDENCE – The capital city of Rhode Island – also known as the Renaissance City or the Creative Capital – has recently appeared among the top ranked U.S. cities in a number of lifestyle-oriented studies.

In December, Governing magazine published a study that ranked Providence as the 10th “most walkable” city in the U.S., with 10.8 percent of residents responding to a survey saying that they walk to work, compared with 69.6 percent who commute by car and 9.2 percent who commute via public transportation.

Cambridge, Mass., boasted the highest number of walkers as a percentage of total commuters at 24.5 percent, followed by Columbia, S.C. with 20.7 percent and Berkeley, Calif., with 18.1 percent. All 10 cities named in the study were college towns with significant student populations, which accounted for the majority of walk commuters in those cities, Governing said.

The makers of Honeywell Infrared Heaters named Providence the eighth “coziest” city in the country in a Jan. 6 study they commissioned from the Environmental Health & Engineering consulting firm. The study analyzed both objective and subjective factors, including access to public parks and restaurants, coffee shops per capita, stressful lifestyle scores, historical ambiance, and fireplace and portable heater usage.

Cambridge, Mass., claimed the title of coziest city on the Honeywell list, followed by San Francisco and Santa Fe, N.M.

Finally, Providence won the No. 4 spot on Travel + Leisure’s list of America’s Best Coffee Cities, which was first published in August 2013 but gained recent social media traction after Small Cities Unite! founder Andy Cutler reposted the article on Pinterest.

As a testament to the city’s java culture, Travel + Leisure pointed to Seven Stars Bakery on Hope Street, “where baristas get trained for two months, each cup is weighed to ensure consistency, and no coffee older than 30 minutes is ever served.”

The article also mentioned coffee milk, Rhode Island’s official state drink, which is made with syrup produced by straining water and sugar through coffee grounds.

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