Sunday, March 27, 2011

Metro Vancouver Walkability Index

The physical activity of walking is becoming a central part of discussion today in fields such as public health and transportation research. It is a very topical theme in general as cities prides themselves on being "walkable". A report on the world's top ten most walkable cities was released in November 2010. A website called Walkscore was created this past year. Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address in North America. Walkability, believe it or not, is becoming very popular because it has economic, social, health and environmental implications.
In the fall of 2010, a team of UBC researchers wrote a report titled "Neighbourhood Design, Travel, and Health in Metro Vancouver". The research was led by a professor in our program named Dr. Larry Frank.
Professor Frank and his team developed the Metro Vancouver Walkability Index (VWI) to measure neighbourhood urban form characteristics in Metro Vancouver. The report summarizes results from local studies that have applied the VWI to explore associations between neighbourhood design and travel behaviour, physical activity, obesity, and air pollution exposure.

Separate routes for pedestrians and bikers, photo by NNECAPA

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1 comment:

  1. Although a significant number of trips are made by foot in developing cities, pedestrian infrastructure, amenities, and services are often neglected in municipal planning and budgets. Good thing Vancouver change it...hope this is already a start for everyone.