The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy recently released Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City. The toolkit, aimed at governments, city planners, NGOs, and developers, notes that “Walkability is the foundation of any type of transportation; all trips require walking at some point.” The new resource notes that there are three urban planning factors that influence walkability throughout the city:
- Infrastructure (the features of the transportation system)
- Activity (features of the urban form determining origins and destinations)
- Priority (aspects of the transportation system that give preference to sustainable forms over private vehicles)
Within these three factors, the toolkit defines the features that promote walkability at three scales in the urban environment: citywide, neighborhood, and street levels.
At the city level, comparisons of block density are among the most useful indicators of walkability. When more data is available, other possible indicators at that level, such as people near frequent transit or the amount of mixed-use development, could be adopted to compare cities. There are 11 indicators that make up a walkability assessment at the neighborhood level, and the street level includes a design checklist. The toolkit also includes best practices and policy recommendations.
The toolkit helps to create a global understanding of walkability, incorporating principles of sustainability and equity, with a goal of creating more walkable areas.
Download the toolkit at the ITDP website.