The Walkability Indicator: A Case Study of Boulder City, CO, USA

By Tsuyoshi Kaburagi and Daryoosh Ardalan.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 21, 2014 $US5.00

Walkability is a measurement of the quality of pedestrian space. Our goal was to create an indicator of walkability and find evidence that improving walkability will alter the distribution of pedestrian traffic in the area.  Theories of walkability assume that pedestrian demand is elastic and design interventions will increase the number of pedestrians, thus encouraging active transportation improving public health while discouraging use of automobiles. This concept describes urban planners' ability to increase pedestrian traffic by improving walkability in the built environment.
For this research, Walkability scores were collected for streets and pedestrian paths within the study area. The scores were input to GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and analyzed to produce a walking experience map from a sample origin point. Several design scenarios were tested by changing segment scores and comparing the results to existing conditions. Results suggest that walkability and pedestrian demand is not necessarily elastic. When walkability is improved, it alters the distribution of likely pedestrian traffic rather than increase the total number. This finding describes a scenario where specific design interventions will pull pedestrians from other areas rather than increase pedestrian traffic overall.

Keywords: Walkability Indicator, Case Study, Pedestrian Traffic

The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.33-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 21, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.238MB)).

Tsuyoshi Kaburagi

Graduate Student, Urban and Regional Planning , College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado, Denver, Wheat Ridge, Colorado, USA

I am an architect in Japan and currently studying urban and regional planning at UC Denver. I am interested in using Geographic Information Systems for city planning.

Daryoosh Ardalan

Graduate Student, Urban and Regional Planning, College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado, Denver, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Daryoosh Ardalan is a graduate student at UC Denver and studying urban and regional planning.