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Creating walkable compact cities is a global priority, and also a priority in Melbourne. There is a growing body of evidence showing that city design has a profound impact on the willingness and ability of residents to walk for transport. Higher density, mixed use developments with connected street networks encourage more local walking for transport. Encouraging active forms of transportation is not only beneficial for traffic management and the environment, but is also very beneficial for the health and wellbeing of residents.
This report outlines the development of a Transport Walkability Index. Drawing on research initiated in the United States and further developed in Adelaide and Perth, we have developed and mapped a walkability index with three components found to be associated with walking for transport: mixed use planning, population density and street connectivity. This could be used by decision-makers to identify areas for renewal to increase local walkability; and to monitor progress towards creating more walkable neighbourhoods over time.
We welcome feedback about the transport walkability index and its use to inform policy and practice