Friday, April 29, 2011


by Daniel Sauter and Martin Wedderburn,

For many years walking had not been seriously considered as means of transport and, consequently, not been measured. In recent years we have seen, however, a slow change towards the better. New methods and tools to assess walking have been developed all over the world. Data is gathered, surveys, counts and audits are performed. In parallel, new technologies and equipment is being placed on the market. This is a big step forward. However, many exchanges and debates show one common problem: the incompatibility of data and methods. The European COST project 358 “Pedestrian Quality Needs PQN” ( aims to publish (among other things) a consistent qualitative and quantitative methodology for recording pedestrian activity; easy to use auditing tools and guidance on national and local procedures for monitoring walking. Currently 20 European countries are participating in this project. In a first step we’re creating an overview of existing methods used to assess walking in the different European countries (a questionnaire has been circulated among participants). On this basis we started to discuss content and procedures to establish some common ground for the type of data to be collected and the adequate methods and tools to be used in order to make them internationally (more) comparable.
At the 7th WALK21 conference 2006 in Melbourne the International Charter for Walking has been adopted (for the conference series and the Charter please see It outlines what should be measured but it doesn’t say how this should be done. It is, therefore, logical and timely to make the next step and develop a set of “international guidelines for the collection, analysis and dissemination of qualitative and quantitative techniques for measuring walking”, as stated in the Melbourne conference conclusion. At the 2007 WALK21 conference in Toronto a day-long pre-conference workshop has been held to start the discussion and exchange of know-how globally. More than 30 experts attended the whole day session which resulted in a fruitful brainstorming on the many aspects of measuring walking. The debate will be continued at the 2008 WALK21 conference in Barcelona in October with a special focus on counting pedestrians. To this, city officials, experts and equipment providers will be invited.

more Space Syntax papers:

Flat City; a space syntax derived urban movement network model

Making an Urban Oasis The Use of Space Syntax in Assessing Dhanmondi Lake Revitalization Project in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Modeling street connectivity, pedestrian movement and land-use according to standard GIS street network representations: A Comparative Study

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