Auditing the pedestrian environment: A brief tool for practitioners and community members

Based upon 10 years of observational research, the Microscale Audit for Pedestrian Streetscape (MAPS) Mini tool assesses the activity-friendliness of streets, sidewalks and crossings, and identifies specific features that are related to physical activity and can feasibly be modified. The MAPS-Mini audit tool can help communities identify the types of micro-level design elements. MAPS-Mini is a 15-item audit tool derived from a 120-item instrument. MAPS-Mini was validated in a study of more than 3500 children, adolescents, adults, and older adults from 3 regions of the US. The MAPS-Mini audit tool is a validated and reliable tool designed specifically for practitioners and advocates to use in their work to create healthy environments.

This Urban Laboratory session will highlight this evidence-based tool’s development, discuss how scores are related to physical activity, and train practitioners in how to use the tool to document disparities in streetscape quality and engage community members in assessment as a basis for advocacy. There will be a discussion about the development and validation of the tool and how it can be used in community advocacy as well as training on the tool and how to use it. Attendees will then conduct field work in the surrounding neighbourhoods of Vienna City Hall for hands-on experience using the tool. Participants are encouraged to bring their own tablet or smart phone so the Web application can be used (please be aware of data roaming charges). Paper copies of the tool will also be provided.

Duration: 3 hours
Meeting point: Vienna City Hall
Guide: Chad Spoon, Active Living Research, University of California San Diego

This Urban Lab will be accessible and barrier free. The Urban Lab involves visually assessing the built environement and therefore bears difficulties for visually impaired participants.

Chad Spoon holds a master’s degree in regional planning and is communications & partnership manager for Active Living Research (ALR), where he focuses on providing credible and action-oriented research results that address the root causes of childhood obesity and physical inactivity. He offers ongoing technical assistance and training to researchers and practitioners and assists with the translation and dissemination of research results.

Photo Credit: Active Living Research