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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.


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