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Walkability-score tool

Book Contribution - Chapter

Studies worldwide have shown that living in highly walkable neighbourhoods is related to more physical activity. A highly walkable neighbourhood is characterized by high residential density, land-use mix diversity and street connectivity. Despite the advantages of neighbourhoods with a high walkability score, Flanders (northern region of Belgium) is characterized by a spread residential pattern with high levels of “ribbon development”, i.e. lower walkability scores. This is related to higher social costs, difficulties with the efficient supply of sewerage, higher costs for public transport and higher car dependency (resulting in lower physical activity levels).
However, very few practical tools are available to policymakers to assess neighbourhood walkability scores in order to prioritize neighbourhood environmental interventions. The objective of this project was to develop a practical and objective walkability scoring tool that can be used by (local) policymakers in Flanders. The targeted users are employees of local governments, including spatial planners, health promotors and politicians. The tool is part of a larger project on healthy public spaces which focuses on topics such as stimulating a healthy food environment and a healthy climate, and aims to discourage smoking, to reduce noise and air pollution and to promote physical activity.
Book: Compendium of Inspiring Practices: Health Edition International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning
Pages: 13-15
Publication year:2018