Journal article

AwaP-IC—an open-source GIS tool for measuring walkable access

Urban planning Geographic information Walkability Streets

Within the broad field of walkability research, a key area of focus has been the relationship between urban form and capacities for walking. Measures of walkable access can be grouped into two key types: permeability measures that quantify the ease of movement through an urban fabric, and catchment measures, quantifying the potential to reach destinations within walking distance. Of numerous street network measures in use, it has been shown that many are poor proxies of permeability and catchment. Instead, two new measures have been proposed: the area-weighted average perimeter (AwaP) and interface catchment (IC), that, combined, better capture the capacities of urban morphologies to enable and attract pedestrian movement.

In this paper, the authors present the QGIS tool AwaP-IC, developed to overcome the difficulty of computing these measures. Unlike GIS tools based on models that abstract streets to axial lines, by employing new algorithms and spatial computation techniques, AwaP-IC analyses actual urban morphologies, based on cadastral maps delineating public and private land. This can empower a new stream of urban morphological studies with the computational power of GIS. As an open-source tool, it can be further developed for use in urban mapping and to streamline the analysis of large datasets.

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