In cities today, the information known about the walkable routes is incomplete, unconnected or nonexistent. A sound management strategy must be based on sound analysis: measureable data which allow us to learn about, evaluate, compare and make decisions. Do we know what our streets are like? WALKABILITY CITY TOOL, our streets, a step forward.
WALKABILITY CITY TOOL is a method to analyze walkability based on GIS technology, which allows us to lay out and measure the walkable network in the city, including technical, environmental, social, tourist and economic factors in order to analyze, interpret and design improvements in it. It serves as a support for strategic decisions on the city and tourism based on evidence instead of on intuition or subjective opinions.
WALKABILITY CITY TOOL is a tool that analyses the street as an element and also as part of a larger network: the walkable network. Our methodology gathers and chooses the most important factors that influence walkability and groups them into five main thematic areas:
- MODAL SHARE. Kind of street, limits, bike lanes, parking, traffic…
- URBAN FABRIC. Sidewalks, slopes, intersections …
- URBAN SCENE. Cross-section of the street, closures, homes and activities, trees, sun/rain protection, facades, furniture…
- SAFETY. Lighting, guides to orientation, night-time activities, perception of safety…
- ENVIRONMENT. Air quality, noise, prevailing winds, smells, sun exposure …
By weighing the data collected, we assign a score to each stretch of the sidewalk to indicate its walkability.
The data are entered into a Geographic Information System, which allows us to analyze the web as a whole and calculate routes in it according to the scores of stretches of sidewalk and intersections.
With the data obtained, we generate graphic information that is easy for managers to interpret:
- “heat” maps with the overall rating of the streets
- “heat” maps with the partial scores on each of the major topics studied. This provides a more detailed reading of why a street is more or less walkable and what aspects need work in order to improve their walkability.
- maps of flow and tourist demand
- maps locating dysfunctions in the network and identifying black spots
- maps analyzing nodes (retail, tourist, facilities…) Since each street has a rating assigned to it, you can observe how the node’s area of influence extends more easily along streets that are more walkable.
- maps analyzing problems, which show how urban actions influence the streets around them
Therefore, Walkability City Tool can be used in projects like:
- Improving the development of Strategic Tourism Plans in cities and in the implementation of tourist services by including the information obtained, optimizing the location and design of tourist products, designing intelligent routes, choosing the location of resources, and allowing tourists to use the city coherently and sustainably.
- Improving the creation of urban routes and actions targeted at meeting the specific needs of certain social groups (gender-based urban planning, individuals with functional diversity, children, the elderly, etc.).
- Optimizing corrective measures in studies of generated mobility and in pedestrian mobility plans of companies and other activities, helping the results to last a longer time by establishing routes that are more appropriate for pedestrians and allowing improvements to be evaluated.
- Improving the implementation of Safe School Walks, with routes based not only on road safety and the distance travelled but also on the child’s overall experience on their way to school, providing value by experiencing the city on its streets.
- Influence and decision-making in retail.
Furthermore, the information obtained will allow us to establish sustainability indicators which provide information on the urban fabric to be evaluated and to allow for improvement and investment proposals which can be used to compare urban fabrics or situations before and after actions are taken on them.
- Pedestrian streets
- Intersections with dropped curbs
- Dedicated bike lane
- Stretches of the footpath with bicycle parking
- Parking for handicapped persons
- Tree-lined streets
- Stretches of road insufficiently lit
WALKABILITY CITY TOOL, our streets, a step forward.
E-mail contact: firstname.lastname@example.org