Walkability is a measure of how friendly an area is to walking. Walkability has health, environmental, and economic benefits. Factors influencing walkability include the presence or absence and quality of footpaths, sidewalks or other pedestrian rights-of-way, traffic and road conditions, land use patterns, building accessibility, and safety, among others. Walkability is an important concept in sustainable urban design.
One proposed definition for walkability is: "The extent to which the built environment is friendly to the presence of people living, shopping, visiting, enjoying or spending time in an area". Factors affecting walkability include, but are not limited to:
Major infrastructural factors include access to mass transit, presence and quality of footpaths, buffers to moving traffic (planter strips, on-street parking or bike lanes) and pedestrian crossings, aesthetics, nearby local destinations, air quality, shade or sun in appropriate seasons, street furniture, traffic volume and speed. and wind conditions.
Walkability is also examined based on the surrounding built environment. Reid Ewing and Robert Cervero's five D's of the built environment—density, diversity, design, destination accessibility, and distance to transit—heavily influence an area's walkability. Combinations of these factors influence an individual's decision to walk.
Before cars and bicycles were mass-produced, walking was the main way to travel. It was the only way to get from place to place for much of human history. In the 1930s, economic growth led to increased automobile manufacturing. Cars were also becoming more affordable, leading to the rise of the automobile during the Post–World War II economic expansion. The detrimental effects of automobile emissions soon led to public concern over pollution. Alternatives, including improved public transportation and walking infrastructure, have attracted more attention from planners and policymakers.
Walkability indices have been found to correlate with both Body Mass Index (BMI) and physical activity of local populations. Physical activity can prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, depression, and osteoporosis. Thus for instance, an increase in neighborhood Walk Score has linked with both better Cardio metabolic risk profiles and a decreased risk of heart-attacks. The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research released a report that new developments should be designed to encourage walking, on the grounds that walking contributes to a reduction of cancer. A further justification for walkability is founded upon evolutionary and philosophical grounds, contending that gait is important to the cerebral development in humans.
Due to discrepancies between residents' health in inner city neighborhoods and suburban neighborhoods with similar walkability measures, further research is needed to find additional built environment factors in walkability indices.
One of most important benefits of walkability is the decrease of the automobile footprint in the community. Carbon emissions can be reduced if more people choose to walk rather than drive or use public transportation. The benefits of less emissions include improved health conditions and quality of life, less smog, and less of a contribution to global climate change.
Walkability has also been found to have many economic benefits, including accessibility, cost savings both to individuals and to the public, increased efficiency of land use, increased livability, economic benefits from improved public health, and economic development, among others. The benefits of walkability are best guaranteed if the entire system of public corridors is walkable - not limited to certain specialized routes. More sidewalks and increased walkability can promote tourism and increase property value.
In recent years, the demand for housing in a walkable urban context has increased. The term "Missing Middle Housing" as coined by Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design, Inc., refers to multi-unit housing types (such as duplexes, fourplexes, bungalow courts, and mansion apartments not bigger than a large house), which are integrated throughout most walkable Pre-1940s neighborhoods, but became much less common after World War II, hence the term "missing." These housing types are often integrated into blocks with primarily single-family homes, to provide diverse housing choices and generate enough density to support transit and locally-serving commercial amenities.
Auto-focused street design diminish walking and needed "eyes on the street" provided by the steady presence of people in an area. Walkability increases social interaction, mixing of populations, average number of friends and associates where people live, reduced crime (with more people walking and watching over neighborhoods, open space and main streets), increased sense of pride, and increased volunteerism.
Socioeconomic factors contribute to willingness to choose walking over driving. Income, age, race, ethnicity, education, household status, and having children in a household all influence walking travel.
Many communities have embraced pedestrian mobility as an alternative to older building practices that favor automobiles. Reasons for this shift include a belief that dependency on automobiles is ecologically unsustainable. Automobile-oriented environments engender dangerous conditions to both motorists and pedestrians, and are generally bereft of aesthetics. A tool that some American cities, like Cincinnati, OH, are employing to improve walkability is a type of zoning called Form-based coding.
There are several ways to make a community more walkable:
One way of assessing and measuring walkability is to undertake a walking audit. An established and widely used walking audit tool is PERS (Pedestrian Environment Review System) which has been used extensively in the UK.
A simple way to determine the walkability of a block, corridor or neighborhood is to count the number of people walking, lingering and engaging in optional activities within a space. This process is a vast improvement upon pedestrian level of service (LOS) indicators, recommended within the Highway Capacity Manual. However it may not translate well to non-Western locations where the idea of "optional" activities may be different. In any case, the diversity of people, and especially the presence of children, seniors and people with disabilities, denotes the quality, completeness and health of a walkable space.
A number of commercial walkability scores also exist:
A newly developing concept is the transit time map (sometimes called a transit shed map), which is a type of isochrone map. These are maps (often online and interactive) that display the areas of a metropolis which can be reached from a given starting point, in a given amount of travel time. Such maps are useful for evaluating how well-connected a given address is to other possible urban destinations, or conversely, how large a territory can quickly get to a given address. The calculation of transit time maps is computationally intensive, and considerable work is being done on more efficient algorithms for quickly producing such maps. To be useful, the production of a transit time map must take into consideration detailed transit schedules, service frequency, time of day, and day of week.
In January 2009, the City of Albert Lea, Minnesota began the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project. Sponsored by United Health Foundation and led by Dan Buettner, the author of The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest, the Vitality Project's goal was to add 10,000 years to the lives of Albert Lea residents by encouraging them to make small changes in their daily lives.Armstrong Creek Growth Area
The Armstrong Creek Growth Area is a southern extension to the urban growth boundary of the metropolitan area of Geelong, Victoria, Australia. It comprises parts of the localities of Grovedale and Marshall south of the Warrnambool railway line, and parts of the localities of Mount Duneed and Connewarre from some distance to the north of Lower Duneed Road and generally to the west of Barwon Heads Road.
The area is named for Armstrong Creek (formerly Armstrong's Creek) which flows from west to east across it; the creek was named after Scottish settler John Armstrong whose property included the creek.The intention to expand Geelong's suburbs into the area was signalled first in the 1980s by the Geelong Regional Commission, and details for a possible development strategy were covered by Henshall, Hansen and Associates' "Mount Duneed/Armstrong Creek Urban Development Study", commissioned by the City of Greater Geelong in 1994The growth area came into being in June 2010 with State government approval of the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme Amendment. The aim is for the development to have its physical and social infrastructure provided at an early stage, with an aim of building communities rather than just releasing land for development.
Armstrong Creek has been promoted as a sustainable community, with a focus on walkability, public transport provision and sustainable water use. However the intention to have usable public transport operating within the development from the outset has been undermined by the revelation in August 2011 that bus services will not be provided when residents move into their homes.Land sales commenced in late 2010, though no new suburbs had by then been gazetted. The names Warralily (in the east) and Armstrong Village (in the west) are in use by developers.
On 1 March 2012 Armstrong Creek and Charlemont officially became suburbs of Geelong.Built environment
In social science, the term built environment, or built world, refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings to parks. It has been defined as "the human-made space in which people live, work, and recreate on a day-to-day basis." The "built environment encompasses places and spaces created or modified by people including buildings, parks, and transportation systems." In recent years, public health research has expanded the definition of "built environment" to include healthy food access, community gardens, mental health, "walkability", and "bikeability".Des Voeux Road
Des Voeux Road Central and Des Voeux Road West are two roads on the north shore of Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. They were named after the 10th Governor of Hong Kong, Sir William Des Vœux. The name was sometimes spelt with the ligature œ in pre-war documents but is nowadays spelt officially as Des Voeux Road.East Cleveland, Ohio
East Cleveland is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States, and is the first suburb of Cleveland. The population was 17,843 at the 2010 census. East Cleveland is bounded by the city of Cleveland to its north, west, and a small section of its southwestern edge, and by Cleveland Heights to the east and the majority of its southern limits.East River Heights (Washington, D.C.)
East River Heights is a residential and mixed use neighborhood located in Ward 7 of Washington, DC. It is considered the 'downtown' area of the ward and has high walkability ratings. Its borders are East Capital Street, Minnesota Ave, Benning Road up to 41st Street. It is a neighborhood of retired and working people and many children. There is quite a bit of development occurring. The houses are small but have large yards. It is centrally located.
It is located between the Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road stations on the Washington Metro.Gujarat International Finance Tec-City
Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) is a business district promoted by the Government of Gujarat through a joint venture company. GIFT City is India's first operational smart city in the Ahmedabad. and international financial services centre.GIFT is an operational smart city developed in the Ahmedabad metropolitan region as a greenfield development. The project includes features like a district cooling system, underground utility tunnel, and automated vacuum waste collection. The city is designed for walkability and includes commercial and residential complexes.
The project is located on the bank of the Sabarmati River and is around 12 km (7.5 mi) from Gandhinagar international airport. GIFT is easily accessible from all directions through 4-6 lane State and National Highways. A double corridor metro system is planned to connect GIFT City to the Airport and various parts of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
The idea for GIFT was developed during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit 2007 and is being planned by East China Architectural Design & Research Institute (ECADI), which is responsible for planning much of modern-day Shanghai, and Fairwood Consultants India. GIFT City’s Master Plan is for the 359 hectares (886 acres) of land area to have approximately ~110 buildings with ~5,800,000 m2 (62,000,000 sq ft) of built-up area, of which around 67% is commercial, 22% is for residential and 11% is social facilities. Currently ~190,000 m2 (2,000,000 sq ft) of commercial space is operational, and another 280,000 m2 (3,000,000 sq ft) is under development. As of now an investment of Rs 10,500 crore has already been committed for GIFT City. The city has an integrated development model which has been spread out in three phases. Each phase is designed as integrated sustainable development, for example the first phase itself includes development of office space, residential, school, hotel, club etc.
Currently approximately 200 units/companies are operational with more than 7500 employed in the GIFT City.Parkdale (Charlotte neighborhood)
Parkdale is a Charlotte, North Carolina neighborhood that generally includes the streets of Manning Dr. (west of Topping Pl.), Wintercrest Ln. (north of Scofield Rd.), and Scofield Rd. (west of Topping Pl.). It is located about 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of the SouthPark Mall and about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the historic Park Road Shopping Center.Reynoldstown, Atlanta
Reynoldstown is a historic district and intown neighborhood on the near east side of Atlanta, Georgia located only 2 miles from downtown. The neighborhood is gentrifying and attracting new families, empty-nesters, Atlantans opposed to long commutes; as well as diverse culture of first-time homebuyers, single professionals, artist and students due to its close proximity to other nearby intown neighborhoods, high walkability index, urban amenities and nearby bohemian hotspots on Carroll Street in the adjoined-at-the-hip also historic Cabbagetown neighborhood and in other surrounding communities.Route 128 station
Route 128 (sometimes subtitled Dedham-Westwood or University Park or called the Westwood – Route 128 Station) is a passenger rail station in Westwood, Massachusetts. It is located at the crossing of the Northeast Corridor and Interstate 95/US 1/Route 128 at the eastern tip of Westwood and Dedham. It is served by most MBTA Commuter Rail Providence/Stoughton Line commuter trains, as well as by all Amtrak Northeast Regional and Acela Express intercity trains. The station area and platforms are owned by Amtrak, but the MBTA owns the parking garage and tracks.Route 128 station opened in 1953 as a park-and-ride facility and was rebuilt in 2000 with a large parking garage. The station has no bus connections and low walkability to Westwood, Dedham, or the nearby towns of Norwood and Canton, however substantial development has occurred just south of the station. It is one of only a few MBTA stations that permits overnight parking. A separate entrance to the garage is used for overnight parking, which is intended for Amtrak customers. Unlike most MBTA stations, credit cards and even E-ZPass transponders are accepted for payment of parking fees.
The station has full-length high-level platforms serving both tracks and is fully handicapped accessible.Sandy, Utah
Sandy is a city in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. The population was 87,461 at the 2010 census, making it the sixth-largest city in Utah. The population is currently estimated to be about 96,145 according to the July 1, 2017 United States Census.Sandy is home to the Shops at South Town shopping mall; the Jordan Commons entertainment, office and dining complex; and the South Towne Exposition Center. It is also the location of the soccer-specific Rio Tinto Stadium, which hosts Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC home games, and opened on October 8, 2008.
The city is currently developing an urban, walkable and transit-oriented city center called The Cairns. A formal master plan was adopted in January 2017 to accommodate regional growth and outlines developments and related guidelines through the next 25 years, while dividing the city center into distinct villages. The plan emphasizes sustainable living, walkability, human-scaled architecture, environmentally-friendly design, and nature-inspired design while managing population growth and its related challenges.Sustainable city
Sustainable cities, urban sustainability, or eco-city (also "ecocity") is a city designed with consideration for social, economic, environmental impact , and resilient habitat for existing populations, without compromising the ability of future generations to experience the same. These cities are inhabited by people whom are dedicated towards minimization of required inputs of energy, water, food, waste, output of heat, air pollution - CO2, methane, and water pollution. Richard Register first coined the term "ecocity" in his 1987 book, Eco city Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future. Other leading figures who envisioned the sustainable city are architect Paul F Downton, who later founded the company Ecopolis Pty Ltd, as well as authors Timothy Beatley and Steffen Lehmann, who have written extensively on the subject. The field of industrial ecology is sometimes used in planning these cities.
There remains no completely agreed upon definition for what a sustainable city should be or completely agreed upon paradigm for what components should be included. Generally, developmental experts agree that a sustainable city should meet the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The ambiguity within this idea leads to a great deal of variation in terms of how cities carry out their attempts to become sustainable.
Ideally, a sustainable city creates an enduring way of life across the four domains of ecology, economics, politics and culture. However, minimally a sustainable city should firstly be able to feed itself with a sustainable reliance on the surrounding countryside. Secondly, it should be able to power itself with renewable sources of energy. The core of this is to create the smallest conceivable ecological footprint, while producing the lowest quantity of pollution achievable. All while efficiently using the land; composting used materials, and recycling or converting waste-to-energy. All of these contributions will lead to the city's overall impacts on climate change to be minimal and with as little impact. The Adelaide City Council states that socially sustainable cities should be equitable, diverse, connected, and democratic and provide a good quality of life.
A sustainable city can feed itself with minimal reliance on the surrounding countryside, and power itself with renewable sources of energy. The crux of this is to create the smallest possible ecological footprint, and to produce the lowest quantity of pollution possible, to efficiently use land; compost used materials, recycle it or convert waste-to-energy, and thus the city's overall contribution to climate change will be minimal, if such practices are adhered to.
It is estimated that over 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban areas. These large communities provide both challenges and opportunities for environmentally-conscious developers. There are distinct advantages to further defining and working towards the goals of sustainable cities. Humans are social creatures and thrive in urban spaces that foster social connections. Richard Florida, an urban studies theorist, focuses on the social impact of sustainable cities and states that cities need to be more than a competitive business climate; they need to be a great people climate that appeals to individuals and families of all types. Because of this, a shift to more dense, urban living would provide an outlet for social interaction and conditions under which humans can prosper. These types of urban areas would also promote the use of public transit, walkability and biking which would benefit citizens health wise but also be environmentally beneficial.
Contrary to common belief, urban systems can be more environmentally sustainable than rural or suburban living. With people and resource located so close to one another it is possible to save energy for transportation and mass transit systems, and resources such as food. Cities benefit the economy by locating human capital in one relatively small geographic area where ideas can be generated. Having a more dense, urban space would also increase people's efficiency since they wouldn't have to spend as much time commuting to places if resources are located close together, which in turn would benefit the economy since people can use this extra time on other matters; like work.Transit map
A transit map is a topological map in the form of a schematic diagram used to illustrate the routes and stations within a public transport system—whether this be bus lines, tramways, rapid transit, commuter rail or ferry routes. The main components are color coded lines to indicate each line or service, with named icons to indicate stations or stops.
Transit maps can be found in the transit vehicles, at the platforms or in printed timetables. Their primary function is to help users to efficiently use the public transport system, including which stations function as interchange between lines. Unlike conventional maps, transit maps are usually not geographically accurate—instead they use straight lines and fixed angles, and often illustrate a fixed distance between stations, compressing those in the outer area of the system and expanding those close to the center.Tyler, Texas
Tyler is the county seat of Smith County, located in east-central Texas, United States. The city of Tyler has long been Smith County's major economic, educational, financial, medical, and cultural hub. The city is named for John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States. Tyler had a population of 96,900 in 2010, according to the United States Census Bureau, and Tyler's 2017 estimated population was 104,991. It is 100 miles (160 km) east-southeast of Dallas. Tyler is the principal city of the Tyler Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 209,714 in 2010, and is the regional center of the Tyler-Jacksonville combined statistical area, which had a population of 260,559 in 2010.
Tyler is known as the "Rose Capital of America" (also the "Rose City" and the "Rose Capital of the World"), a nickname it earned from a long history of rose production, cultivation, and processing. It is home to the largest rose garden in the United States, a 14-acre public garden complex that has over 38,000 rose bushes of at least 500 different varieties. The Tyler Rose Garden is also home to the annual Texas Rose Festival, attracting tourists by the thousands each year in mid-October. Tyler is also home to the Caldwell Zoo and Broadway Square Mall.
As a regional educational and technology center, Tyler is the host for more than 20,000 higher-education students, a college of engineering, a university health science center, and two regional hospital systems.
In 1985, the international Adopt-a-Highway movement originated in Tyler. After appeals by local Texas Department of Transportation officials, the local Civitan chapter adopted a 2-mi (3-km) stretch of U.S. Highway 69 to maintain. Drivers and other motorists traveling on this segment of US-69 (between Tyler and nearby Lindale) will notice brown road signs that read, "First Adopt-A-Highway in the World."Walk Score
Walk Score is a private company that provides walkability services and apartment search tools through a website and mobile applications. Its flagship product is a large-scale, public access walkability index that assigns a numerical walkability score to any address in the United States, Canada, and Australia.The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.Walking
Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main gaits of locomotion among legged animals. Walking is typically slower than running and other gaits. Walking is defined by an 'inverted pendulum' gait in which the body vaults over the stiff limb or limbs with each step. This applies regardless of the unusable number of limbs—even arthropods, with six, eight or more limbs, walk.Walking audit
A walking audit is an assessment of the walkability or pedestrian access of an external environment. Walking audits are often undertaken in street environments to consider and promote the needs of pedestrians as a form of transport. They can be undertaken by a range of different stakeholders including:
Local community groups
Transport planners / engineers
Local police officers
Local politicians / councilorsWalking audits often collect both quantitative and qualitative data on the walking environment.Walking bus
A walking bus is a form of student transport for schoolchildren who, chaperoned by two adults (a "Driver" leads and a "conductor" follows), walk to school along a set route, in much the same way a school bus would drive them to school. Like a traditional bus, walking buses have a fixed route with designated "bus stops" and "pick up times" in which they pick up children.