Tooling up to put city pedestrians first

AMERICA’S Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) has introduced a new tool to help governments, city planners, NGOs, and developers promote walkability and make cities more equitable, healthy, safe, and vibrant.  

The new downloadable tool, Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City, is intended to facilitate the understanding and the measurement of the features that promote walkability in different urban environments and at multiple levels.

Research associate at ITDP and the author of Pedestrians First, Joe Chestnut, said: “Cities around the world are recognising how essential walkability is for the access and health of their citizens, and the economic growth of their cities.

“But walkability is not just a footpath, it’s a whole system of design and infrastructure.”

Pedestrians First breaks down 11 indicators for measuring walkability, including walkways, crosswalks, visually active frontages, and prioritized connectivity. The tool also has checklists, examples, and policy recommendations to create an “enjoyable walking environment in any city”.

According to the IDTP, which is based in New York City, “With a better global understanding of walkability, and more consistent and frequent measurement of the walkability of urban environments, decision-makers will be empowered to enact policies that create more walkable urban areas”.