The Pulse of Walkable Places

Wolli Creek

As part of the Pulse of Greater Sydney, the Greater Sydney Commission has Walkable Places as one of its four top performance indicators, to address the 10 directions for a Greater Sydney.

To understand the contribution that walking makes to the liveability of a city this indicator examines walking as a mode of transport generally.

The goal is more convenient walking and cycling access to schools, shops, public transport and open space.

Two factors influence how walkable a place is: the walkability of the built environment and the amount of walking activity undertaken. Walkability describes the factors within the built environment that make it convenient, comfortable and safe to walk, while walking activity measures the actual amount of pedestrian movement undertaken in a location.

The key factors influencing walkability are the density and variety of land use mix and street connectivity such as the number of intersections or crossings per square kilometre. Other factors include the amenity of the street environment (shade, tree canopy, low-speed streets), wide footpaths and facilities (seats, water fountains).

Transport for NSW is investigating how walking activity can be better measured through big data and a network of pedestrian counters at set locations.

WalkSydney will be providing feedback about this initiative.

One of our comments is to address the narrow data of Journey to Work, to include broader datasets, especially to include trip-chaining. It is important that Greater Sydney Commission address the well known problem of women’s invisibility in existing transportation policy data sets.

See also – Mind the gender gap: the hidden data gap in transport

Do you have other comments about The Pulse of Greater Sydney you would like to add? Send them to use via the website, social media, or provide your own feedback directly to Greater Sydney Commission.