Development and Trial of an Automated, Open Source Walkability Tool Through AURIN's Open Source Portal

29 November 2013

Creating walkable environments produces a range of health and environmental co-benefits including increased physical activity, social interaction, sustainable living and environmental protection. This project developed, trialled and validated a ‘Walkability Index Tool’. This is an automated geospatial tool capable of creating walkability indices for neighbourhoods at user-specified scales (i.e., suburb, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Statistical Areas (SA) and road network buffers generated around user uploaded points) for any Australian urban area. The tool is based on open-source software architecture, within the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) framework. Using this tool, user-specified areas can be compared using three key subcomponents of walkability (street connectivity; dwelling or population density; and land use mix) as well as a composite index of walkability. The calculation of each sub-component of walkability can draw upon data currently residing within the AURIN Portal. However, if users have their own Geographic Information System (GIS) data, this can be uploaded to a secure user area within the AURIN Portal for use in the analysis, with the ability to download results to link to their own data sets. This paper provides details of the development of the tool and describes how it can be applied.
The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research.


This paper was presented at SOAC 6, held in Sydney from 26-29 November 2013.

SOAC 6was the largest conference to date, with over 180 papers published in collected proceedings. All papers presented at the SOAC 2013 have been subject to a double blind refereeing process and have been reviewed by at least two referees. In particular, the review process assessed each paper in terms of its policy relevance and the contribution to the conceptual or empirical understanding of Australian cities.

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Billie Giles-Corti, Gus Macaulay, Nick Middleton, Bryan Boruff, Carolyn Whitzman, Fiona Bull, Iain Butterworth, Hannah Badland, Suzanne Mavoa, Rebecca Roberts, Hayley Christian, 2013, Development and Trial of an Automated, Open Source Walkability Tool Through AURIN's Open Source Portal, State of Australian Cities Research Network, viewed 30 April 2017, <>.

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