Developing a city-specific walkability index through a participatory approach

Matias Cardoso, Vasileios Milias*, Maurice Harteveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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The extent to which the built environment encourages people to walk in public spaces, hence the quality of being walkable or ‘walkability’ has long been associated with positive outcomes on people’s health. While various studies have developed indices to assess walkability, limited attention has been given to indices that reflect the influence of specific city characteristics on walkability. This study showcases the development of a city-specific walkability index through a participatory approach using Amsterdam as a case study. It explores the viewpoints of urban designers and policy-makers who work or reside in Amsterdam on what constitutes a walkable street and identifies the most significant walkability factors for Amsterdam. These factors are then quantified based on open-access datasets and integrated into a street-level weighted walkability index. The resulting walkability index underscores the importance of factors such as traffic and crime safety, quality of the pedestrian infrastructure, and proximity to public amenities in shaping residents’ decisions to walk in specific public spaces. Finally, this research underscores the importance of involving individuals through participatory methods, considering subjective perspectives, and acknowledging shared experiences within particular groups and spaces when assessing walkability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 27th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science.
Subtitle of host publicationGeographic Information Science for a Sustainable Future
EditorsAlison Heppenstall, Mingshu Wang, Urska Demsar, Rob Lemmens, Jing Yao
Place of PublicationGlasgow, UK
PublisherAssociation of Geographic Information Laboratories for Europe (AGILE)
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event27th AGILE conference: Geographic Information Science for a Sustainable Future - Glasgow, UK
Duration: 4 Jun 20247 Jun 2024
Conference number: 27

Publication series

NameAGILE: GIScience Series
PublisherCopernicus Publications


Conference27th AGILE conference
Abbreviated titleAGILE
Internet address


  • Walkability
  • Active Mobility,
  • Built Environment
  • Participatory
  • Q methodology


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