City Surgery

S&P for cities? Towards a global standard of walkability and urban design quality

There is no global standard for walkability and quality of place. The most popular measure, Walk Score, has its limitations: it is primarily based on the number of destinations near a specific route. However, it does not factor in the walking experience! There are micro-scale walkability measures, but they are limited to manual data collection.

By developing the State of Place Index, State of Place has been working to address the challenge of balancing the need for micro-scale urban design data with the ability to scale this data on a global level.

Can the State of Place Index be adopted as the universal walkability standard, or are there other measures and audits that might work better?

METRO-PED: urban design research on pedestrian-friendly environments around metro stations

Walk 21 proposal design research: METRO-PED

In order to reach a destination, every metro traveller will be a pedestrian at some point in their journey. In an ideal world, from the moment you leave the metro, the various sections of the metro system will be well integrated into the surrounding urban space, which is a well-designed, safe, attractive pedestrian zone. But the situation can be quite different around many metro stations. This session includes design studies on two typical Rotterdam metro stations: Dijkzigt and Rijnhaven/Maashaven. The entrance to Dijkzigt leading to the hospital is no more than an escalator that ends at the pavement. How can this station be converted into a pleasant intermediate space connecting the city and Erasmus MC? At Rijnhaven/Maashaven, the tracks are elevated, meaning that the entrances to these metro stations are located on ‘islands’ between lines of car traffic. These are the environments that people step into as soon as they leave these metro stations. How can these stations contribute to Rotterdam-Zuid’s transformation?

The Accessibility Crisis In The Built Environment

There are specific accessibility and safety problems for blind, disabled and vulnerable pedestrians accessing public transport when certain types of cycle lanes are introduced. Cycle lanes that go between the bus stop and the bus mean pedestrians have to get on and of the bus directly into a cycle lane. Research revealed that this was a particular hazard for all pedestrians: their introduction led to an increase in collisions with passengers. Other designs of bus stop bypasses have shown that cyclists also don’t give way to bus passengers and this kind of bus stops were found not to arrest their speed. Blind, disabled and vulnerable people will avoid these designs, only use them with assistance or put themselves in great danger when they have to use them. How can we resolve this issue?

Mobilities design in Aalborg, Denmark: towards integration of active mobility and urban quality of life

Aalborg is a medium-sized city that is experiencing rapid development, with a host of planning initiatives focusing on a vision for urban quality of life, health and sustainability. Increasing pedestrian mobility is considered one of the key ways of implementing this vision. Currently, Aalborg is aiming to improve conditions for pedestrians travelling to and through the city centre.Lanng and Malling present the integration of active mobility and urban quality of life by analysing the planning documents and existing pedestrian routes across arterial roads, from parking facilities and to or from BRT stations to destinations. When you see these physical spaces and routes and the opportunities that they provide, what is your advice and view of the integration of active mobility and urban quality of life?

Summing Up Urban Village to The Equation: What If Through-Pedestrian-Connection Could Improve More than Connectivity?

Kampung Waduk Melati is one of the urban villages in Jakarta, Indonesia, located primely in Dukuh Atas TOD Area, adjacent to BRT, MRT, commuter rail, and airport rail stations. Like most of the urban villages, it has limited rights of way. Most of the routes in Kampung Waduk Melati provide shortcuts through the block. Despite the opportunities, urban villages are often excluded from urban connectivity plan.

Could the incorporation of those routes to the overall TOD areas connectivity plan help to improve accessibility and walkability? Could it trigger other positive social and spatial improvements for the urban villages?

Smart Place Concept, make more room to walk

With populations in urban areas continuously growing, the spatial claims for urban space from for example day-to-day-living, mobility, logistics and recreational are rising. Nowadays public space is often static and not able to adapt to the differentiation in demand of space throughout the day. The need to use public space more effectively and efficiently is becoming increasingly important due to sustainability goals without compromising on economic attractiveness. In other words: how can the attractiveness of public space be enhanced, without putting a claim on the accessibility of the city?

On my way to kindergarten –promoting healthy mobility with the Kindergarten-Mobility Box

Children need exercise. Exercise contributes to healthy physical, social and emotional development. If children walk to kindergarten, they will already be exercising on a daily basis. The sooner children experience walking and cycling in the city, the more likely it is that they will continue to enjoy it as adults. That is why Mobility Agency Vienna has developed the Kindergarten-Mobility Box. The box contains different materials for playing, experimenting and exercising, and there is a practical guidebook containing ideas for kindergarten teachers on how to use the box with the children. This presentation will provide an overview of the Kindergarten-Mobility Box and its contents. How can you motivate kindergarten children to walk or cycle through the city using play and prepare them for an active start at school?

The Uncertain Future of Children’s Mobility Behaviour

Should we be designing our streets and societies so that our children can develop into resilient, capable, adaptable adults? Today, children are walking, cycling and using public transport less. They have moved away from independent mobility towards adult-dependent mobility. Factors driving this shift are the longer distances that people are required to travel and an increasing culture of fear among parents. The decrease in independent mobility is one of the key indicators of a lack of child friendliness in urban environments. How do we address this lack of safety felt by parents? What is lacking in the urban environment that causes parents to drive their children instead of encouraging them to walk and cycle? And how does this affect policy making? This session will provide you with a better understanding of urban-child relationships, promoting children’s rights and developing strong partnerships.

The story of one street changing the perception of an entire nation

Almaty is situated in the footsteps of the Himalayan mountain range. It seems as though constantly sloping roads and harsh climate have permanently defined Almaty as the city inhibited by cars. Despite everything, the Almaty Development Centre had a vision: Almaty, the comfortable city for everyone! They decided to start small, by creating just one pedestrianised street to see what would happen. A huge amount of paperwork later, and that first pedestrianised street was finally closed off to vehicles. Although the closure of this road was met with enormous backlash, pedestrians kept on coming to the street and businesses flourished. The street was a symbol that paved the way for other changes. Now, the centre is leading the nation’s urban metamorphosis, by advising other cities on how to create their own pedestrian networks. Learn how this nondescript street has caused a chain reaction of opportunities!