In recent years an increasing number of cities and transport planning documents (such as Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan) aim to reduce car traffic and promote active modes of transport – walking and cycling. The development of active modes of transport is increasingly becoming a focus of urban planning. However, detailed information on the needs of pedestrians and aspects of the assessment of a pedestrian-friendly environment are usually not available. In most cases, the only indicator of the effectiveness of improvements is the modal split and the rate of pedestrians. An objective assessment method is needed to help identify areas that need to be developed for walking.
The various planning regulations and legislation provide a framework for the design of pedestrian infrastructure, but many aspects that make public spaces attractive and pedestrian-friendly (green spaces, aesthetics, sense of safety, etc.) are not included in the regulations.
This problem can be addressed by the walkability index, which can provide an objective, data-based measure of how pedestrian-friendly an area is. It can also be a tool for analysing and monitoring. It can show areas where walking conditions are inadequate and intervention is needed. Regularly carrying out the survey can also serve to analyse the impact of measures taken in the meantime. This article describes the methodology and application of the walkability index.