Walking is undoubtedly a sustainable and healthy mode of transport. However, the decision to walk is influenced by many built environment and streetscape attributes. Specifically, the term walkability is used to describe the extent to which the urban environment is pedestrian-friendly, usually by quantifying multiple built environment attributes at the neighbourhood scale. The present study adopts a qualitative approach to evaluate perceived walkability. Based on a questionnaire (n = 1438) administered in the cities of Bologna and Porto, this paper analyses how respondents perceived and evaluated 19 built environment and streetscape attributes. An Exploratory Factor Analysis was carried out to examine the correlations between the various attributes and to identify the underlying walkability determinants. The analysis indicated that 13 attributes were highly correlated, resulting in four determinants: (i) urban ambiance, which includes land use and street design attributes, such as land use mix, enclosure, transparency, and architectural and landscape diversity; (ii) pedestrian infrastructure, which is related to sidewalk conditions; (iii) street connectivity and proximity to community facilities; and iv) access to other modes of transport. In turn, traffic safety and security were not correlated with perceived walkability in both cities. These findings suggest that specific urban design and pedestrian infrastructure attributes should be highly considered when formulating policies aiming to create more pedestrian-friendly cities, as well as in walkability studies and when developing walkability scores and indexes.

Perceived Walkability and Respective Urban Determinants: Insights from Bologna and Porto

Tondelli, S;Conticelli, E;
2022

Abstract

Walking is undoubtedly a sustainable and healthy mode of transport. However, the decision to walk is influenced by many built environment and streetscape attributes. Specifically, the term walkability is used to describe the extent to which the urban environment is pedestrian-friendly, usually by quantifying multiple built environment attributes at the neighbourhood scale. The present study adopts a qualitative approach to evaluate perceived walkability. Based on a questionnaire (n = 1438) administered in the cities of Bologna and Porto, this paper analyses how respondents perceived and evaluated 19 built environment and streetscape attributes. An Exploratory Factor Analysis was carried out to examine the correlations between the various attributes and to identify the underlying walkability determinants. The analysis indicated that 13 attributes were highly correlated, resulting in four determinants: (i) urban ambiance, which includes land use and street design attributes, such as land use mix, enclosure, transparency, and architectural and landscape diversity; (ii) pedestrian infrastructure, which is related to sidewalk conditions; (iii) street connectivity and proximity to community facilities; and iv) access to other modes of transport. In turn, traffic safety and security were not correlated with perceived walkability in both cities. These findings suggest that specific urban design and pedestrian infrastructure attributes should be highly considered when formulating policies aiming to create more pedestrian-friendly cities, as well as in walkability studies and when developing walkability scores and indexes.
Fonseca, F; Papageorgiou, G; Tondelli, S; Ribeiro, P; Conticelli, E; Jabbari, M; Ramos, R
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/894147
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