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9. Providence, RI

Population: 1.62 million
% commute by walking: 3.2%
% commute by mass transit: 2.5%
Average commute: 22.3 minutes
Number of parks: 54.2

“Providence is going through a real rebirth,” Sperling said. The Providence metro area has a strong downtown core, with good hiking trails and a lot of schools within walking distance. A lot of people walk to work and crime is low — one of the lowest on the list, Sperling said.