Walkability Inequalities

891 Words 4 Pages
Calculation Walkability Indices Using GIS-Based Methodology
Walkability is a multidisciplinary research subject in several fields such as transportation planning, urban and transportation geography, public health, GIS and commercial interests. As such, it is relevant to insist that walkability is a contested definition. Walkability refers to how friendly an area is for pedestrians. In more detailed definition, walkability as the extent to which the built environment supports and encourages walking effectively in terms of offering comfort, safety, accessibility, and visual aesthetics through a short walking trip (Southworth, 2005).
By reviewing previous research, one can distinguish that the walkability research methods take three major forms.
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(2005) developed walkability index (WI) to measure the characteristics of the physical environment that contribute to walkable neighbourhood design. Leslie et al. (2007) adapted the WI to Australia. WI for these studies contains four main data components. The first component is residential density which is the number of residential units per particular areal unit within a neighbourhood. A high residential density value shows that more people live in the area. The second data component of the walkability index is the retail floor area ratio, which is the extent of the area chosen for commercial use within a neighbourhood. A greater retail floor area ratio means more businesses, retail shops, and other commercial uses. The third component is the land use mix which refers to the degree of the various types of land uses such as housing, commercial, and entertainment. Higher land use mix values indicate a more equal distribution of land across the diverse types of land uses. The fourth data component is street connectivity, which refers to the number of street intersections in a neighbourhood. A greater value of street connectivity indicates more intersections in a neighbourhood, and thus more opportunities for direct travel between two destinations using existing streets. These four data composites join into a composite value of overall walkability to measure the physical characteristics of the environment. Then, the value of the walkability index indicates that the …show more content…
Density is defined as the amount of activity found in an area and can be measured in terms of population, housing units, or employment density. Density is considered an essential measurement that highly correlates with walking. Population density is one of the most commonly cited measures in literature, referring to the number of people living in an area (Brownson et al., 2009). Diversity refers to the spatial arrangement of land use that affects the type and nature. Well-mixed land use supports and offers various services within particular neighborhood, which lead to shortening trip distances. Connectivity is defined as the measure that quantifies the degree to which roads, sidewalks, and trails are connected. High connectivity is expected to ease the travel between destinations, and offer shorter and more alternative routes. Proximity is associated with the number and variety of destinations within a specified distance of a given area. Shorter proximity to parks, pathways, schools and recreational amenities have consistently been positively correlated with walking and physical activity in general (Leslie et al., 2007; Frank et

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