How walkable is your city? Walkability is a concept that aims to evaluate the extent to which the built environment is pedestrian friendly. Walking, often considered the “forgotten transport mode” is nowadays regarded as the foundation of the sustainable city. Walking provides health, environmental, social and economic benefits being the most equitable transport mode, accessible to all. In the real world however this is not always the case. In order to evaluate or “measure” the environment’s walkability several methods and tools have been put forward.
The IAAPE project is a research project that aimed to develop a walkability assessment framework. The IAAPE framework stands out from the existing pool of walkability measurement methods by considering the needs of distinct pedestrian groups, namely adults, children, seniors and disabled pedestrians. The IAAPE was developed using a participatory method in which a stakeholder panel, representing distinct pedestrian groups, selected and ranked the most relevant factors for the pedestrians within Lisbon’s urban context. The IAAPE project also produced a street auditing procedure to evaluate walkability at the street level. This data is processed in GIS environment, enabling the production of walkability maps and detailed accessibility analysis. These outputs can assist planners and policy makers in understanding how accessible and attractive the urban environment is or could be.
The IAAPE project was funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia). It started in March 2014 and ended in July 2015. It was led by Filipe Moura with the participation of Alexandre Gonçalves and Paulo Cambra.
Since then, the IAAPE framework has been published providing grounds for further research, namely on mapping the pedestrian network, and evaluating built environment interventions to promote walking.