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Factors Affecting Walkability of Neighborhoods


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Planning and designing for walking is crucial for promoting a healthy public life, creating sustainable neighborhoods, enhancing social life and economy. This research paper identifies the factors that contribute to increased urban walkability in order to improve neighborhood sustainability and public life. For the research to gauge the perception of walkability, a case study was conducted in a neighborhood that provided an opportunity to analyze the walking behavior of pedestrians in a variety of urban built environment. Mehrauli, one of the most traditional settlements in New Delhi, India, was taken up for primary case study as it functioned like an urban laboratory with both traditional and modern settlements in the same vicinity. Streets selected based on varying levels of usage by pedestrians were studied through activity mapping and public surveys to understand the underlying factors that led to certain streets being rendered more walkable than the others. The results showed that the most important factors affecting pedestrians’ perception of walkbility were related to the built envelop on either side of the streets. Factors relating to urban morphology like enclosure, block length and edge conditions were found crucial in creating the perception of a walkable neighborhood.
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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
Available online at
1877-0428 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of IEREK, International experts for Research Enrichment and Knowledge Exchange
doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.12.048
Urban Planning and Architecture Design for Sustainable Development, UPADSD 14- 16 October
Factors affecting walkability of neighborhoods
Richa Singh
B.Arch, Sushant School of Art and Architecture,Gurgaon, Haryana, India
Architect, Urban Architecture Works, New Delhi-110065, India
Planning and designing for walking is crucial for promoting a healthy public life, creating sustainable
neighborhoods, enhancing social life and economy. This research pap
er identifies the factors that contribute to
increased urban walkability in order to improve neighborhood sustainability
and public life. For the research to
gauge the perception of walkability, a case study was conducted in a neighborhood that provided an opportunity to
analyze the walking behavior of pedestrians in a variety of urban built environment. Mehrauli, one of the most
traditional settlements in New Delhi, India, was taken up for primary case study as it functioned like an urban
laboratory with both traditional and modern settlements in the same vicinity. Streets selected based on varying levels
usage by pedestrians were studied through activity mapping and public surveys to understand the underlying
factors that led to certain streets being rendered more w
alkable than the others. The results showed that the most
important factors affecting pedestrians' perception of walkbility were related to the built envelop on either side of
the streets. Factors relating to urban morphology like enclosure, block length and edge conditions were found crucial
in creating the perception of a walkable neighborhood.
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Peer-review under responsibility of IEREK, International experts for Research Enrichment and Knowledge Exchange.
Keywords: walkability; sustainable neighborhoods; urban morphology; social life; public health
1. Introduction
Walking is the oldest form of urban transport, and u
ntil the advent of major transformations in transport technology
in the nineteenth century, most cities were structured in ways that supported walkability (Newman and Kenworthy
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of IEREK, International experts for Research Enrichment and Knowledge Exchange
644 Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
1999). As individual private car transport became widespread during the twentieth century, public transport and
urban walkability became less apparent as major priorities of transport planning and urban design. As concern for
future urban sustainability increases, walking is again being recognised as an important mode of urban transport.
Much of the renewed attention on urban walkability is associated with concerns that car dependent cities will not be
sustainable in the future, due to energy costs, fuel availability, congestion, pollution and other environmental
impacts. The reported benefits of walking are not new; it’s common knowledge that we benefit physically when we
are active. It’s a free activity that can increase personal well-being and longevity of good health.
According to the American Journal of Public Health, ped
estrian oriented neighbourhoods also increase individual
and collective social capital. Social capital is an umbrella term that measures things like involvement in local
government and community trust. Greater social capital has been linked with better community health, decreased
crime rates and even increased economic activity. In pedestrian oriented communities that are highly walkable,
residents are likely to walk to places such as corner markets, restaurants, schools, places of worship, public parks
and oth
er establishments necessary for life. While walking about their neighbourhood, residents can interact with
their surroundings more regularly and thus feel more connected to and responsible for their physical community.
rthermore, residents will also interact more frequently with their neighbours, creating a denser community
etwork which can increase individual peace of mind, community trust and may decrease crime rates. In the
itional settlements buildings opened out directly on the streets as there were no huge setbacks. People took the
ownership of the whole street on which they lived. All the windows and balconies looked on to the street making it
even safer. As Jane Jacobs said it put Eyes
on the Street. This morphology acted like a catalyst in promoting street
activity. Through literature review and also through an empirical study, this pap
er tries to investigate the concept of
walkability by trying to understand the different ways the built environment influences walking. The knowledge that
is paper tries to produce is not only whether or not, but more
on how and why the built environment influences
walking behaviour.
2. Walkability and built environment
-to-face human interactions in a neighborhood are extremely relevant for supporting livability, safety and
trol, economic development, participation, and identity (Jacobs, 1961;Goffman, 1963, 1967; Lemert and
Branaman, 1997). Many researchers like Oscar Newman, William Whyte and Jan Gehl focus their research on the
ation of people in real-life situations to determine how the built en
vironment impacts social wellness
(Newman, 1973; Gehl, 1987, c. 1980; Whyte, 1988). The results of
their studies helped guide designers to rethink
the impact of their plans upon real life.
Whyte (1980) pointed out that people-watching is one of the primary activities shared by different classes of people
public spaces. Simple amusements, such as walking, talking, eating, and sports, also give a street diverse life.
hyte describes that, in democratic streets, a social connection links ground floor building uses to the adjacent
street space. A truly walkable street has a healthy relationship between the private or semi-public life inside
ildings and the public world outside. Whyte argues that “dead” uses, such as businesses without display windows,
banks, offices, parking garages, and storage areas with blank walls, should not be placed along the public street. On
the other hand, uses, such as news-stands or restaurants can enhance walkability. In residential neighborhoods, the
ment of kitchen windows, as well as other building elements, such as ledges encourage sitting and can enhance
e social life of the street and thus make it more walkable. Whyte’s recommendations for providing “sittable space”
(1980) have also been considered useful to the design and management of the streets. Jan Gehl’s works (Gehl, 1980;
Gehl, 2010) are also one of the most cited works of literature con
cerning designing the city for pedestrians. Gehl
Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
discusses issues in urban design which may contribute to creating urban environments that support and enhance
walking activity. Similar to the other literature that emphasizes the design at the street and ground level, Gehl also
describes how the treatment of the lower floors of buildings, has a decisive influence on life in the city space. In
explaining what he refers to as soft edges, he describes how pedestrians experience ground floors closely and
intensely. Walking in the city leaves ample time to experience everything that ground floors have to offer, and to
savour the wealth of detail and information. An ideal “soft edge” would
be a street with shops lined up, transparent
facades, large windows, many openings and goods on display, where there is much to see and touch. Gehl argues
that the city at eye level is the most important scale for city planning. In his book, Cities for People, Gehl presents
details for how to design good cities for walking. He discusses in specific detail the urban design issues related to
alking, such as the acceptable walking distance, providing room to walk freely and unhampered, avoidance of
stairs, pavements, straight sightlines, and interesting things to see at the eye level (Gehl, 2010).
2.1. Measuring the unmeasurable
Urban Design Qualities Related to W
alkability (Ewing & Handy, 2009)
A recent study from the urban design field has attempted to
measure subjective qualities of the urban street
environment, with the purpose of providing researchers with operational definitions which they can use to measure
the street environment and test for significant associations with walking behaviour (Ewing & Handy, 2009). This
tudy investigated numerous perceptual qualities that may affect the walking environment to which the urban design
literature points (Ewing, 1996). While the urban design literature has not attempted to objectively measure these
al qualities with few exceptions, this study tries to objectively measure seemingly subjective qualities of the
walking environment. The conceptual framework presented below in Figure 1, is an interesting analysis of the
relationship between the perception of the environment, physical features of the built environment and walking
re 1
The approach is to link specific physical features to urban design quality ratings by a panel of experts for a sample
of commercial streets. Of the 51 perceptual qualities, eight were selected for further study based on the importance
assigned to them in the literature: imageability, enclosure, huma
n scale, transparency, complexity, legibility, linkage
and coherence. Among these, the first five were successfully operationalized. The operational definitions are based
on ratings made by the expert panel of video clips of 48 commercial streets from across the United States (Ewing et
al., 2006). The consensus qualitative definition of the urban design qualities will be briefly described here, followed
Table 1 showing the significant physical features of each quality.
646 Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
x Imageability is th
e quality of a place that makes it distinct, recognizable and memorable. A place has high
imageability when specific physical elements and their arrangement capture attention, evoke feelings and
create a lasting impression.
x Enclosure refers to the degree to which streets and other p
ublic spaces are visually defined by buildings,
walls, trees and other vertical elements. Spaces where the height of vertical elements is proportionally
related to the width of the space between them have a room-like quality.
x Human scale refers to a size, texture, and articulation o
f physical elements that match the size and
proportions of humans and, equally important, correspond to the speed at which humans walk.
x Transparency refers to the degree to which people can see or perceive what lies beyond the edge of a street
and, the degree to which people can see or perceive human activity beyond the edge of a street.
x Complexity refers to the visual richness of a place. The com
plexity of a place depends on the variety of the
physical environment, specifically the numbers and types of buildings, architectural diversity and
ornamentation, landscape elements, street furniture, signage and human activity. (Ewing & Handy, 2009).
Courtyards/ plazas/ parks
Outdoor dining
Major landscape features
Buildings with identifiers
Proportion street wall - same side
Proportion street wall - opposite side
Proportion sky across
Proportion sky ahead
Long sight lines
Human scale
All street furniture and other street items
Proportion first floor with windows
Building height - same side
Proportion first floor with windows
Number of active users
Proportion street wall - same side
Dominant building colours
Outdoor dining
Public art
Table 1
Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
Walkability at the urban design level
As mentioned by Du
any, Andres (2000). The ways in which buildings are arranged on a site has an effect on where
a street and its context fall in the continuum of walk-ability. The specific elements of Urban Morphology that
ntribute to defining the vitality of an urban space include:
x Building orientation and setback: In places that have less priority for w
alking, buildings typically will be
less related to the street either by large setbacks into private property or oriented toward a parking lot rather
than the street. By contrast, a context with traditional urban character will have buildings oriented toward
and often adjacent to the thoroughfare and therefore a higher priority for pedestrian travel. The directness
of the pedestrian connection to the building entry from the thoroughfare distinguishes a context with
traditional urban character. In these locations, buildings may form a continuous built edge or street wall (a
row of buildings that have no side yards and consistent setback at the thoroughfare edge).
x Block length: Development patterns with traditional urban characteristic
s usually have short block lengths
with a system of highly connected thoroughfares, local streets and alleys. Vehicle-dominated contexts have
larger blocks, less complete street connectivity and usual
ly no alleys; this pattern makes walking distances
longer and, therefore, it is likely that fewer people will walk between destinations.
x Building height an
d street enclosure: Buildings are the primary feature of urban contexts that create a sense
of definition and enclosure on a streetan important urban design element that helps create the experience
of being in a city and in a place that is comfortable for pedestrians. The threshold when pedestrians stop
perceiving enclosure is a 1:4 ratio of building height to street widthtypical of low-density environments.
n denser urban contexts, height-to-width ratios between 1:3 and 1:2 create an ap
propriate enclosure on a
thoroughfare. Highly walkable streets have a ratio of 1.5 to 2.
x Building scale and variety: This helps define the context and character o
f a street and encourages walking
by providing visual interest to the street. The scale and variety of buildings should help define the scale of
the pedestrian environment. Vehicle-oriented building scale maximizes physical and visual accessibility by
ers and auto passengers, contributing to contexts that discourage walking.
2.2. Research question and methodology
Through literature review and empirical study, the research q
uestion this paper investigates is to understand the
relationship between urban form and walking, by carefully understanding the context and condition of the given
environment, and, based upon that context, to study in detail how the different factors of the built environment
appear to influence walking. The major factors identified in literature review on walkability will be focused on in
order to investigate in greater detail how and why they influence walking.
A qualitative method is used for the collection of data relating to walking behaviour through an observational site
dy. As this study requires the author to deal with both the built environment and the people, the study method for
is project combines the observation method often used in studies on urban form with the anthropological approach
in observing human behaviour. Therefore, this paper has combined different approaches and methods in both
llecting and analyzing data and deriving knowledge from the results in its empirical study. In the empirical study,
e walking behaviours of the individuals were documented in detail by observing:
x the perceived relative level of pedes
trian density and its patterns
x the route choices made for the walking trips by tracking pedestrians
x the presence of different types of morphological factors during the walking activity
648 Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
3. The empirical study
Mehrauli is situated in the South Delhi Planning Zone F-15. It is located on the spur of the Aravalli range of
ountains, which lie on the west of the Qutab complex. Mehrauli is referred to as an ‘urban village’ and is one of
the 111 traditional settlements within the urban area of Delhi, which have been urbanized in the last few decades.
The settlement of Mehrauli has evolved over several centuri
es, each layer leaving an imprint of its own in the
development of the village.
3.1. Why Mehrauli?
Mehrauli is one of the most traditional settlements in Delhi
which has started to be urbanized in the last few
decades. Therefore on one hand we see the presence of a ver
y organic settlement which has developed over the
years and on the other there are private housing developments happening in pockets (mostly on the periphery). Thus
Mehrauli offers an opportunity to analyze the morphological shift from the organic settlements and its varying
impacts on the street activity and walkability in
e neighbourhood.
3.2. Activity Mapping
The area under study was walked on foot and a
eneral idea of the activity zones was gathered.
The streets with a definite high density of people
were marked on the map that was carried with the
author at all times of the study. This mapping was
done purely from the visible density of people on
the streets and was not influenced by any other
factor. This was done to basically get a larger
picture of the activity distribution in the studied
area. Also, the mapping was crucial in
documenting the highly active streets and the
streets with low or no activity.
Figure 2 illustrates the activity mapping via
y of people. The yellow dots are the
pedestrians observed on the streets. The streets
where the density of yellow dots is more are the
es where most activity was observed. The
streets where the density of dots decreases are the
ones which had less activity/ less no. of people.
The mapping shown here is not done by counting
e exact number of people but is more relative in
nature thus the results obtained cannot be used to
mine the exact number of people on any
Figure 2 Source: Author
Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
3.3. Observation study
The documentation of the observations was mainly in the form of field notes and the survey conducted. During the
ation, since tracking the pedestrians constituted a large part of the f
ield work and required care in order to not
offend the pedestrian being observed, photographing was avoided during most of the observation, and photographs
of the site were taken on separate occasions following the main part of the observation. The questions asked in the
survey were prepared beforehand and were asked in a very simple language to obtain natural responses. The
questions were structured in a way that they hinted on obtaining the level to which a persons’ decision to be in a
particular street, at a particular point of time was affected by the built environment/urban morphology. Table 2
w, illustrates the questionnaire that was used for street activity analysis.
Source/ Respondent
Indicator(Question asked)
Residents of Mehrauli
On a scale of 1-10, what
degree of enclosure do you
feel while on this street?
Residents of Mehrauli
Out of these two, on which
street do you feel that you
have to walk less?
Residents of Mehrauli,
floating population.
Out of these three sketches
showing street elevation,
which one would you pick for
this street?
Residents of Mehrauli
What is the one thing that you
are afraid of on this street?
The shop owners
The residents and the floating
Do you, as a customer feel
connected or invited to the
shops present on this street?
Residents of Mehrauli
Why and how often do you
use this street?
Residents of Mehrauli and
floating population
Out of these three sketches
showing street elevation,
which one would you pick for
this street?
Table 2 Source: Author
650 Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
3.4. Results and analysis - Selected observation study and survey
x Enclosure and safety
The data obtained by
the survey, when
analyzed, helps in
establishing a relation
between the degree of
enclosure felt in a street
to the degree of safety
felt by the people when
walking on that street.
A graph was plotted
with Enclosure and
Safety as two variables,
these were studied
across the three
identified streets and
responses by the people
were plotted on the
graph on a range of 1 to
10, 10 being the most
enclosed and the most
safe. It was observed
that as the feeling of
enclosure experienced
by the people increased
the level of safety felt
by them while walking
on the street also
increased. Though as
the feeling of enclosure
was plotted to be above
7, the feeling of safety decreased drastically. This could be related to the fact that the streets having buildings too
close to each other and very less sunlight entering the street, tend to make people uncomfortable and claustrophobic
while walking on these streets.
Thus it was concluded that Enclosure and Safety are directly proportional to each other until a point where if the
enclosure increases any further, the feeling of safety starts to drop. We see that the traditional and old streets of
Mehrauli offer a very comfortable and walkable enclosure due to the building morphology (Street 2). Although the
very old residential streets are considered to be claustrophobic in nature (Street 3) due to the building typology
present on either sides of the street.
Street 1
Street 2
Street 3
Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
x Block length and perceived walking distance
The data obtained by the survey,
when analyzed, helps in
establishing a relation between
the average block length of
buildings on a street to the
perceived walking distance. A
graph was plotted with Block
length and Perceived walking
distance as two variables, these
were studied across the two
identified streets and responses by
the people were plotted on the
graph. It is crucial here to state
that both the streets selected were
commercial in nature and both
were approx. of 30 meters in
length. The only factor thus
varying was the average block
length of the streets. Street 1 had
an average block length of 8
meters whereas Street 2 had an
average block length of 3 meters.
It was observed that as the
average block length increased,
the walking distance to cover that
street as perceived by people also
increased. All the respondents on
Street 1 (block length-8 meters)
perceived the street to be 50-80
meters long. Whereas the
respondents on street 2 (block length-3 meters) perceived the street to be shorter than it actually was. Most of them
perceived the street to be 15 meters long (half of the actual distance). Thus it was concluded that Block length and
perceived walking distance are directly proportional to each other. Shorter block lengths make the streets more
walkable as people perceive the distances to be shorter and prefer taking such routes, thus increasing the street
Street 1
Street 2
652 Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
x Softness and street vitality
Shopkeepers on certain identified streets with high pedestrian activity were asked whether they were able to monitor
the pedestrians on the street from their shops. The answers obtained were listed street wise and were then analyzed.
On Street 1, most of the shop keepers felt connected to the activities happening on the street. They were able to
monitor pedestrians’ activity on the street and felt connected to the surroundings. On Street 2 also, was packed with
small shops and eateries which were open on the ground floor. The shop keepers felt that many people walking were
attracted to the shops on the street and would automatically come inside the shop to buy daily use things. Pedestrians
were also asked if they could relate to the shops and if they felt invited into the shops. Most of them agreed to the
fact that the shops on the street were very inviting in nature.
Hence, it was concluded that the subjective elements that make a street environment feel safe and welcoming were
important factors in enhancing walkability. The Transparency and Transitional space present on both Streets 1 and
2 helped in contributing to the pedestrian activity on the streets.
Street 1
Street 2
Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
x Detractors and safety
People on certain identified streets with
low activity and low pedestrian traffic
were asked to name one factor which
made them feel uncomfortable using
these streets. The answers obtained
were listed street wise and were then
analyzed . On Street 1, most of the
people felt uncomfortable due to the
presence of forest area on one side of
the street. They felt that the lack of a
defined boundary on one side of the
street made them feel unsafe. On Street
2, there was almost no activity
observed. When the same question was
asked, most people stated that absence
of light on the street was the major
factor that made them feel unsafe on
that street. No activity was observed on
Street 3 as well. This street was very
narrow, almost 1500 mm in width and
had blank concrete walls on either side.
Most of the recorded answers stated that
the presence of blank walls was the
factor they thought made them feel
unsafe or claustrophobic on the street.
Hence, it was concluded that
negative morphological factors or Detractors were a major factor in deciding the degree of activity on a street. It was
also observed that the comparatively newer developments in Mehrauli (Street 1 and Street 2) had the least amount of
pedestrian traffic as the number of detractors hampering the street vitality were more. These housing developments
have been made just adjacent to the Sanjay van (forest) with blank walls facing the exterior roads. This factor
discourages pedestrians to be on these roads and as decreased the walkability in that area.
4. Conclusion
Walkability increases exponentially when people feel a sense of control over the streets they walk. Conversely,
streets fail when they seem to be controlled by no one, Francis (1987). Walkability and street vitality is one of the
important factors in shaping the urban life on and around the street. It helps in identifying the most active areas in a
locality and people tend to locate themselves near such vital public corridors. Studying urban morphology as a factor
affecting walkability has led to a lot of understanding as to how the buildings present on both sides of a street make
it active or dead. After analyzing the streets for walkability in the neighborhood of Mehrauli it can be concluded
that streets having built fabric pertaining to the traditional settlement had more public life on them. The reason
behind this observation is the fact that these built fabrics and building typologies gave pedestrians a sense of control
over the street. Optimum enclosure provided pedestrians with a sense of safety which made them stay longer on the
street. Smaller block length of the built led to reducing the perceived walking distances thus making these streets
look shorter and more frequently used. Also, the Edge condition on these streets was crucial to their walkability. The
traditional streets having multiple building entrances saw some kind of informal activity happening on the street
throughout the day. Such activity enhanced the walkability on these streets, inviting more and more people to take
Street 1
Street 2
Street 3
654 Richa Singh / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 216 ( 2016 ) 643 – 654
these routes. On the other hand the streets of the newer development fall short of these aspects thus reducing the
public activity on them. The buildings surrounding them are not able to generate any sense of enclosure that can
make pedestrians stay longer in that corridor. All these observations help conclude that the building envelop on both
ends of
a street is crucial to promoting walkability. The built needs to respond to the street and the pedestrian in a
way that they feel in control of their street and the public space around.
5. References
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Jane Jacobs (1961); The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Ne
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Goffman, (1963); Behavior in Public Places; Notes on the
Social Organization of Gathering. New York: Free Press
of Glencoe.
Goffman, (1967); Interaction Ritual; Essay
s in Face-to-face Behavior. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.
Lemert and Branaman, (1997); The Go
ffman Reader. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Newman, (1973); Defensible Space: Crime Prevention through Urban Design. New
York: Collier Books.
Newman, (1996); C
reating Defensible Space. US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy
Development and Research, Washington, DC, USA.
Gehl, (1987); Life between Buildings: Using Public Space.
New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Whyte, (1988); City:Red
iscovering the Center. New York: Doubleday.
Vinicius NETTO, et al (2012) ; Eight Space Syntax Symposium (Santiago)
S. Porta and J.L. Renne, (2005); Linking urban design to sustainability.
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In the context of urban sustainability, promoting pedestrian travel is fundamental. Residents’ needs are critical to creating truly pedestrian-friendly streets. The objective of this study was to answer the following questions: What aspects most increase the willingness of citizens to walk? Is the extent to which these aspects are prioritized related to the context in which citizens move on a daily basis? Two linked surveys, conducted through the institutional website of the Department of Civil Engineering and Architectural of the University of Catania, allowed the inclusion of more than 1000 respondents residing in the metropolitan areas of eastern Sicily. The large database was first reduced using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and then statistically processed using Path Analysis. Thus, it was found that in the residential areas of the respondents that were not very “pedestrian friendly”, the macro factors of “safety”, “comfort”, and “quality” of pedestrian infrastructures were equally desirable for citizens to adapt to the existing pedestrian routes and thus promote walking. On the other hand, the “attractiveness” of the urban environment as a whole was a non-statistically significant variable for residents’ decision to walk. These results are not valid for every urban context, but the method used is generalizable and applicable in any urban setting. If the quality, safety, and comfort of pedestrian infrastructure results are important, urban planning should prioritize the provision of safe and accessible sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian streets. Furthermore, if the attractiveness of a neighborhood result is significant, urban design and planning should go beyond functional requirements and also focus on creating a vibrant and livable urban environment.
... The second one is a spatial walkability index that integrates proximity to land use mixes, population density, sidewalk network connectivity, existing infrastructure data (i.e., sidewalk width and condition, number of obstacles) and signage information along the routes. Another research by Singh (2016) examined the aspect of walkability in urban environments and found that the key factors were related to the built envelop on either side of the street. More specifically, factors like enclosure, block length and edge conditions seemed to be crucial for a walkable neighborhood. ...
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Effective transportation planning necessitates the consideration of all road network users and their needs. Towards this goal, the integration of accessibility in planning and the development of tools that enable the assessment and measurement of accessibility within urban areas becomes essential. This study aims to contribute to the accessibility assessment process of urban areas by developing two accessibility indices: the infrastructure and the opportunity accessibility index, which use an infrastructure-based and distance-based approach, respectively. Four types of users and their needs are considered: pedestrians, People with Disabilities (PWD), cyclists and public transport users. Data for modeling the accessibility indices are collected by: 1) an infrastructure audit, 2) a user survey, and 3) geographic information systems. The proposed method is applied in a district in central Athens, Greece, which is characterized by high population density and high level of activities. The Infrastructure Accessibility Index (IAI) measures accessibility for sidewalks, crosswalks, bikeways and public transport stops. The IAI results indicate moderate accessibility levels for pedestrians and PWD, for sidewalks and crosswalks. The Opportunity Accessibility Index (OAI) measures the share of different types of users that reach different opportunities within a time threshold. The accepted time threshold per user type is estimated based on the survey responds, for seven different opportunities: green spaces, recreational spaces, education buildings, health buildings, public service building, commercial uses and public transport stops. Compared to the IAI, the majority of users reach different opportunities within the estimated time threshold. The study concludes with recommendations to improve accessibility levels at local level.
... Decision to walk studies review.(Cervero and Kockelman 1997;Alfonzo, 2005;Southworth, 2005;Ewing et al., 2006;Mehta, 2008;Ewing & Handy, 2009;Javad et al., 2012;Koh & Wong, 2013;Mateo-Babiano, 2016, Mendiate et al., 2022Cervero et al., 2013, Speck, 2012, Mendiate et al., 2022Rahmana et al., 2015, Sim & Gehl, 2019, Anciaes et al., 2017Singh, 2016, Anciaes et al., 2017Rafiemanzelat et al., 2017, Mendiate et al., 2022. ...
... Yapısal çevrenin ötesinde sosyal çevrede gürültü oluştuğunda ise bireylerin birbiri ile iletişim kurması daha az olasıdır. Dolayısı ile gürültü, fiziksel ve sosyal etkileşimi minimuma indiren bir etkiye sahiptir (Montgomery, 2015;Singh, 2016;Whyte, 1988;Zacharias, 2001 (Gehl & Svarre, 2013). Sıcak havalarda yaya 5 km/sa'nin biraz altında bir yürüme hızına sahipken bu değer soğuk havalarda 5,5 km/sa'nin üstüne kadar çıkabilir, ancak eğer tasarım doğru yapıldığında insanların her iklim koşulunda yürümesi beklenmektedir (Speck, 2013). ...
Despite all technological and spatial developments, the act of walking has remained the most basic method of daily movement. In recent years, with the understanding of the importance of the subject, pedestrians have started to gain importance in urban policies again. As a sign of this, various pedestrianization solutions can be given as an example, especially in city centers. To this extent, movements of pedestrians in differentiated urban spaces have been the subject of investigation by many disciplines. The subject of pedestrian movement and behavior, which has started to gain ground since the 70s, has been studied in various contexts by urban sciences, applied sciences and social sciences. When examined under spatial sciences, it is seen that the movements of individuals take place in different spatial units from regional scale to building scale. Considering the regional axis, the movement of the individual takes place over a long period of time through forms of movement such as migration and displacement, and is examined under the topics of mobility and mobility. On the urban scale, the periodic movement of relatively long distances by means of individual and public transport is the subject of transportation areas. On the other hand, walking movement can be grouped under three main scales: macro, meso and micro. While the macro scale includes walkability, Space Syntax and other topological approaches, the subject of the meso scale is shaped around the collective and crowded movement of individuals. The micro-scale, which is the focus of the thesis, deals with the movement of the individual in certain moments in places such as streets and buildings. In this context, the thesis study focuses on pedestrian movement and collective movement patterns in the public space by providing quantitative analysis together with digital data acquisition methods. The aim of this study is to evaluate the socio-spatial movements of pedestrians together with the factors depending on the changing conditions through quantitative methods. In this context, pedestrian movement has been investigated through the questions of which variables in the space determine the micro-walking movement, to what extent pedestrian routes differ, to what extent individual movements are affected by design differences, and how the movement varies in different time periods. Within the scope of the thesis study, Istiklal Street was chosen as the pilot area. The street, which is divided into four segments, examined by the method based on the comparison of different conditions within itself, such as noon and evening, weekdays and weekends. In this context, pedestrians were investigated according to their micro movements within the determined sample cross-sectional areas. Istiklal Street is analyzed from general to specific, and then the data obtained were reassembled and reintegrated across the area and pedestrian movement. The study method is structured in five main stages. The first phase is based on detailed analyzes of the past and current situation of Istiklal Street. The study area is handled with function, facade, movement, square and segmentation analyzes. It is observed that the ability to adapt to changing time conditions has an effect on the functions that make up the historical identity of the street. Along Istiklal Street, half of the facades that are pedestrians interact primarily, constitute commercial spaces with food and beverage, but at the same time, there is a wide variety of uses in the area. The close environment, which is largely free of vehicles, is home to unique districts and points in terms of transportation of individuals. In this context, side streets that are integrated with the street constitute important capillary distribution corridors. Taksim, Galatasaray and Tünel squares stand out as the nodal points that strengthen the backbone of Istiklal Street, while the openings formed by Odakule and Demirören Shopping Mall are secondary supporting intermediate squares. When evaluated in the light of this information, it is revealed that the street is a combination of four main segments. The second stage is based on the observation of the sample cross-sectional areas determined to be able to analyze the four segments. The areas were observed by recording video cameras from the high floors of the buildings at possible points. In Istiklal Street, where spatial as well as temporal layers are intertwined, observations were made four times, on weekdays, weekends, lunch and evening, for each sample area determined. In the third stage, Tracker, an open-source physics analysis software, was used to obtain data from the video-recorded observations. Data tables containing time, horizontal position and vertical position coordinates of all pedestrian and sample cross- sectional areas were obtained by performing perspective correction and scaling in the application. In the fourth stage, in which Python programming language is used, pedestrian tracking, speed, density and flow and personal space distance characteristics of individual movement were determined numerically by data analysis method. In the pedestrian tracking analysis, collective movement patterns were determined based on the traces created by individuals in two dimensions, and the linearity of walking was expressed as a numerical value. While determining the speed values, pedestrians and sampling areas were evaluated separately, and the characteristics were determined based on the average speed values and their distributions. While the number of pedestrians per unit area was determined in the density analysis, the flow measurement in fluid mechanics was reformulated according to the pedestrian movement. Personal space distances were measured in relation to density, and situations such as walking together and gathering, which differed from the usual situation, were observed. In the last stage, the analysis of the segments and the data and analyzes of Istiklal Street, which were analyzed numerically , were handled holistically. A close relationship found between linearity, walking speed, pedestrian density and flow, and personal space distances. Considering the temporal axis, it is determined that the weekday and weekend observations did not make a big difference, but there was a significant change during the day, and the movement and diversity increased in the evening hours. In the light of the data obtained from the study, which was designed in an interdisciplinary manner with quantitative analysis methods, four main outputs were revealed: 1. The walking movement is shaped according to the physical space setup. 2. Land use and facade characteristics affect individual behavior. 3. The presence of other individuals shapes the movement of pedestrians. 4. The use of space is determined by temporal conditions. In this study, a quantitative model has been developed to be used in different pilot regions within the scope of evaluating the pedestrian behavior and movement in public spaces in urban and spatial study areas of the examination and measurement methods discussed by applied sciences. The model presented allows to measure the effect of environmental conditions created by urban planning and urban design on individual movements in future studies. This model is believed to be applied to pedestrian movement predictions together with techniques such as machine learning and simulation, which can be considered as future from the obtained results.
... Particularly in a time of climate change when many communities and people are experiencing extreme events, these campaigns can encourage people to play a role in environmental sustainability programs and to see neighbourhood improvement as a responsibility of all stakeholders, including residents. This being so, researchers in the field of environmental health and architecture ought to build a discourse regarding how pro-environment behaviours among individuals can be encouraged as a strategic way to make the creation of walkable neighbourhoods more effective, especially in developing countries where politicians are less interested in neighbourhood walkability improvement programs (Singh, 2016;Asiamah, 2017;Asiamah et al., 2021). This study provides an important objective for future research and sets the foundation for the aforementioned discourse. ...
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Background – several studies have confirmed the potential influence of walkability on social activity, but whether this relationship can be modified by pro-environment behaviours has not been evaluated. This study aimed to assess the association between perceived (self-reported) walkability and social activity and to ascertain whether this potential relationship is moderated by pro-environment behaviour (PEB) and socially responsible consumption (SRC). Methods – This study adopted a cross-sectional design with a sensitivity analysis and techniques against common methods bias. The study population was residents in Ablekuma North Municipality, Ghana. Participants were 792 residents who met some inclusion criteria. The G*Power software was employed to determine a minimum sample for the study. Hierarchical linear regression (HLR) analysis was used to present the findings. Results – The study found a positive association between neighborhood walkability and social activity, which suggests that residents who lived in more walkable neigbourhoods reported higher social activity. SRC and PEB positively moderated the foregoing relationship between neighborhood walkability and social activity. Conclusions – Residents who lived in more walkable neighbourhoods reported higher social activity, and the positive relationship between walkability and social activity is strengthened by SRC and PEB. It can be concluded that walkability better supports social activity among residents with higher pro-environment behaviours.
... This is not limited to personal factors but also considers various levels of factors that may affect one's behavior. 4 Several walking practice determinants have been identified, including demographic (sex, age, education, income, occupation), 5,6 physical (disability, pain, overweight), 7,8 psychological (social support, fear, self-efficiency), 9,10 built environmental (walkability, accessibility to services, parks, sports facilities, safety), 11,12 and natural environmental factors (air pollution, air temperature, rainfall, sunlight). 8,13 Weather factors, such as sunlight, temperature, and precipitation, can prevent outdoor walking. ...
Purpose: This study aimed to establish the association between high temperature and walking among residents of rural and urban areas. Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study used data from the Korea Meteorological Administration and the 2018 Community Health Survey to confirm the association between temperature and walking practice. The dependent variable was walking practice. Walking practice was considered if the participants walked for more than 30 minutes a day or more than 5 days a week. The independent variable was the daily maximum temperature (℃) for the preceding 7 days, calculated from the survey date of each participant. A multilevel analysis was conducted to simultaneously consider the individual- and neighborhood-level variables that could affect determining the association between daily maximum temperatures and walking practice. Results: When the daily maximum temperature increased by 1℃, the odds ratio of walking practice decreased to 0.95 (95% confidence interval 0.94-0.97) in rural areas. In contrast, it decreased to 0.98 (95% confidence interval 0.97-1.00) in urban areas, considering both individual- and neighborhood-level factors. Individual- and neighborhood-level determinants of walking practice in rural areas, including educational attainment, marital status, driving a car, subjective health, depression, and meeting neighbors and friends, were confirmed. Conclusion: This study confirmed that increased temperature led to more decrease in physical activity levels in rural areas than in urban areas. Physical and environmental approaches to avoid heat are needed to maintain and promote physical activity, since temperatures can reduce physical activity during the hot summer months.
... Outside this limit, there would be a spatial barrier due to the distance. Specifically, the main consensus regarding the maximum distance residents who are willing to walk to facilities that supply goods and services in a residential neighborhood is 10 min on average [27,51,52]. In addition, according to Talen's ideas [24,53], the average speed of walking is 1.4 m/s (5.04 km/h) and it is classified as "easy and healthy to walk around the neighborhood". ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic affected people’s mobility and access to urban activities. When the contagion was at a community level, quarantine measures were taken, causing population immobility. The lack of alternatives significantly altered the satisfaction of people’s basic needs. The objective of this article was to explore and generate real accessibility indicators for goods and services, in addition to the levels of spatial satisfaction of the population, at a regional level in the metropolitan area of Concepción, Chile. To focus on citizens’ social welfare, social geomarketing was applied as the method, obtaining the delimitation of accessibility areas for goods and services through population surveys and the delimited spatial decelerated satisfaction. Pre-pandemic and during-pandemic situations were evaluated. The results showed an improvement in the delimitation of accessibility areas of goods and services, as the citizens’ preferences as consumers were included, revealing an increment during the pandemic, especially in the food typology. In the same way, the existence of geospatial satisfaction and its increment under the pandemic context when accessing the diverse facilities that offer these kinds of goods was confirmed. In conclusion, the satisfaction areas were useful for analyzing urban form designs and focusing them to promote revitalization, as well as for inclusive and sustainable urbanization and proactive measures to make urban areas more resilient to natural or human risks, incorporating the role of geospatial tools for promoting sustainable urban development.
One of the main aims of the smart city paradigm is to reduce the environmental footprint of urban growth by managing the urban mobility in a citizen-friendly way. Facilitating and encouraging citizens to walk is a way to make the modern form of urban mobility greener and safer. Evidence of the benefits of walking and walkable urban forms has appeared in different strands of literature, suggesting the multidisciplinary nature of it. The main aim of this chapter is to document and review the existing measures of urban walkability, along with the relevant cases where the attempts to measure walkability were made, thereby contributing a wider literature which aims to identify and understand factors that are most relevant for urban walkers.
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Walkability provides a foundation for a sustainable city (Bhattacharyya & Mitra, 2013). Walking is measured as one of the most sustainable & democratic ways of traveling within the city—the advantages of applying the walkability concept and the factors related to making cities more pedestrian-friendly (TUROŃ et al., 2017). Walkability provides travel safety, security, and comfort for city dwellers (Bhattacharyya & Mitra, 2013). Pedestrian paths must be well planned in width, paving, landscaping, signing, and lighting. A walkable neighborhood or city has a controllable pattern of events to serve daily wants. Pedestrian-friendly transportation is essential for any local area as it increases social gatherings, improves peoples' safety, and improves public health and the overall urban environment. Thus, there is a need to address walkability as an essential transport mode as a revised perspective of sustainable transportation. A walking environment is one of the essential needs to take a step toward sustainable transportation. This research is based primarily on qualitative and qualitative evidence sequentially collected in three phases based on the research objective The research concludes by redesigning the existing roads for pedestrian, non-motorized transport vehicles & motorized transport vehicles with wide footpaths and spaces for vendors on the streets & roads that will enhance the walkability in the urban area.
Named by Newsweek magazine to its list of "Fifty Books for Our Time." For sixteen years William Whyte walked the streets of New York and other major cities. With a group of young observers, camera and notebook in hand, he conducted pioneering studies of street life, pedestrian behavior, and city dynamics. City: Rediscovering the Center is the result of that research, a humane, often amusing view of what is staggeringly obvious about the urban environment but seemingly invisible to those responsible for planning it. Whyte uses time-lapse photography to chart the anatomy of metropolitan congestion. Why is traffic so badly distributed on city streets? Why do New Yorkers walk so fast-and jaywalk so incorrigibly? Why aren't there more collisions on the busiest walkways? Why do people who stop to talk gravitate to the center of the pedestrian traffic stream? Why do places designed primarily for security actually worsen it? Why are public restrooms disappearing? "The city is full of vexations," Whyte avers: "Steps too steep; doors too tough to open; ledges you cannot sit on. . . . It is difficult to design an urban space so maladroitly that people will not use it, but there are many such spaces." Yet Whyte finds encouragement in the widespread rediscovery of the city center. The future is not in the suburbs, he believes, but in that center. Like a Greek agora, the city must reassert its most ancient function as a place where people come together face-to-face.
Creating Defensible Space. US Department of Housing and Urban Development
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Newman, (1996); Creating Defensible Space. US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, Washington, DC, USA.
Crime Prevention through Urban Design
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Defensible Space: Crime Prevention through Urban Design. New York: Collier Books.