Research Mentor(s)

Aquila Flower

Affiliated Department

Environmental Studies

Sort Order

51

Start Date

18-5-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

18-5-2017 12:00 PM

Document Type

Event

Abstract

Pedestrians have been somewhat overlooked in the United States’ automobile dominant transportation paradigm. The ability to be able to walk anywhere in an urban setting is very important for accessibility, agency, and community health. One goal of Bellingham planning is to create a more bike friendly and walkable place. Producing an index, which rates one’s ability to navigate an area by foot, allows for smarter planning and directing of city planning resources to improve pedestrian agency in different parts of the city. In this study, I applied geographic information systems (GIS) and statistical methods to calculate a ‘walkability’ index using publicly available data from the city of Bellingham. Each variable was given a specific weight based on its importance to pedestrians and then compiled into one formula. The results show interesting patterns in the overall ‘walkability’ of different neighborhoods in Bellingham. Tighter spatial distribution and higher density of street intersections tends to return the greatest levels of ‘walkability’. Because of this, population centers such as the downtown neighborhood end up allowing pedestrians higher levels of ‘walkability’. These patterns suggest that increasing ‘walkability’ is more dependent on projects that increase density and connecting areas of higher density.

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this documentation for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 18th, 9:00 AM May 18th, 12:00 PM

Producing a ‘Walkability’ Index for Bellingham Neighborhoods Using Municipal Spatial Data

Environmental Studies

Pedestrians have been somewhat overlooked in the United States’ automobile dominant transportation paradigm. The ability to be able to walk anywhere in an urban setting is very important for accessibility, agency, and community health. One goal of Bellingham planning is to create a more bike friendly and walkable place. Producing an index, which rates one’s ability to navigate an area by foot, allows for smarter planning and directing of city planning resources to improve pedestrian agency in different parts of the city. In this study, I applied geographic information systems (GIS) and statistical methods to calculate a ‘walkability’ index using publicly available data from the city of Bellingham. Each variable was given a specific weight based on its importance to pedestrians and then compiled into one formula. The results show interesting patterns in the overall ‘walkability’ of different neighborhoods in Bellingham. Tighter spatial distribution and higher density of street intersections tends to return the greatest levels of ‘walkability’. Because of this, population centers such as the downtown neighborhood end up allowing pedestrians higher levels of ‘walkability’. These patterns suggest that increasing ‘walkability’ is more dependent on projects that increase density and connecting areas of higher density.

 

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