Walkable access is recognised as one of the most important factors for deciding to walk instead of using other modes of transport. Distance has been less accurately taken into consideration in previous walking accessibility measures, however, as they are often based on an isotropic approach or on a fixed distance threshold. The objective of this paper is to present a method of modelling continuous walking accessibility to different amenities in a city, with an integrated network-based and distance-decay approach, applied to a case study of the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The approach is based on a web survey to obtain data on acceptable walking distances to different types of amenities. Several distance decay functions were analysed for each type of amenity from the cumulative frequency of responses. The best fitting functions were used to model the walking accessibility surfaces for individual amenities in the network, representing five domains (retail, services, recreation, education and transportation) and an overall walking accessibility index. Despite certain limitations and a further need to assess the validity of the methods, our distance-decay network-based approach is more accurate than the isotropic or even network-based modelling of walking distances in continuous or threshold approaches, as it enables the researcher to take into account the differences in propensities to walk to different amenities. The results can be used by city authorities and planners for implementing actions to improve walking accessibility in the most problematic areas.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
ALFONZO, M. A. (2005): To Walk or Not to Walk? The Hierarchy of Walking Needs. Environment and Behavior, 37(6): 808–836.
ALLEN, N. (2015): Understanding the Importance of Urban Amenities: A Case Study from Auckland. Buildings, 5(1): 85–99.
BADLAND, H., WHITE, M., MACAULAY, G., EAGLESON, S., MAVOA, S., PETTIT, C., GILES-CORTI, B. (2013): Using simple agent-based modeling to inform and enhance neighborhood walkability. International Journal of Health Geographics, 12(1): 58.
BOISJOLY, G., WASFI, R., EL-GENEIDY, A. (2018): How much is enough? Assessing the influence of neighborhood walkability on undertaking 10-minutes walks. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 11(1): 143–151.
BONAIUTO, M., FORNARA, F., BONNES, M. (2003): Indexes of perceived residential environment quality and neighbourhood attachment in urban environments: a confirmation study on the city of Rome. Landscape and Urban Planning, 65(1): 41–52.
BROWNSON, R. C., HOEHNER, C. M., DAY, K., FORSYTH, A., SALLIS, J. F. (2009): Measuring the Built Environment for Physical Activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 36(4): S99–S123.e12.
BUTTON, C., SCHOFIELD, M., CROFT, J. (2016): Distance perception in an open water environment: Analysis of individual differences. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78(3): 915–922.
CAO, X. (Jason) (2016): How does neighborhood design affect life satisfaction? Evidence from Twin Cities. Travel Behaviour and Society, 5: 68–76.
CARR, L. J., DUNSIGER, S. I., MARCUS, B. H. (2010): Validation of Walk Score for estimating access to walkable amenities. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45(14): 1144–1148.
CERIN, E., LESLIE, E., OWEN, N., BAUMAN, A. E. (2007): Applying GIS in physical activity research: Community ‘walkability’ and walking behaviors. In: GIS for Health and the Environment (pp. 72–89). Dordrecht, Springer.
CHENG, J., BERTOLINI, L. (2013): Measuring urban job accessibility with distance decay, competition and diversity. Journal of Transport Geography, 30: 100–109.
DROBNE, S., LAKNER, M. (2014): Which distance-decay function for migration and which one for commuting?: the case study of Slovenia. Croatian operational research review, 5(2): 259–272.
DUNCAN, D. T., ALDSTADT, J., WHALEN, J., MELLY, S. J., GORTMAKER, S. L. (2011): Validation of Walk Score® for Estimating Neighborhood Walkability: An Analysis of Four US Metropolitan Areas. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(11): 4160–4179.
ELLIS, G., HUNTER, R., TULLY, M. A., DONNELLY, M., KELLEHER, L., KEE, F. (2016): Connectivity and physical activity: using footpath networks to measure the walkability of built environments. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 43(1): 130–151.
FORSYTH, A. (2015): What is a walkable place? The walkability debate in urban design. Urban design international, 20(4): 274−292.
FOTHERINGHAM, A. S., PITTS, T. C. (1995): Directional Variation in Distance Decay. Environment and Planning A, 27(5): 715–729.
FRANK, L. D., ENGELKE, P. (2005): Multiple Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health: Walkable Places and the Exposure to Air Pollution. International Regional Science Review, 28(2): 193–216.
FRANK, L. D., SCHMID, T. L., SALLIS, J. F., CHAPMAN, J., SAELENS, B. E. (2005): Linking objectively measured physical activity with objectively measured urban form: Findings from SMARTRAQ. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(2, Supplement 2): 117–125.
GILES-CORTI, B., BROOMHALL, M. H., KNUIMAN, M., COLLINS, C., DOUGLAS, K., Ng, K., LANGE, A., DONOVAN, R. J. (2005): Increasing walking. How Important is Distance to, Attractiveness, and Size of Public Open Space? American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(2): 169–176.
GILES-CORTI, B., DONOVAN, R. J. (2002): The relative influence of individual, social and physical environment determinants of physical activity. Social Science & Medicine, 54(12): 1793–1812.
GREENWALD, M., BOARNET, M. (2001): Built Environment as Determinant of Walking Behavior: Analyzing Nonwork Pedestrian Travel in Portland, Oregon. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1780(1): 33–41.
GUTIÉRREZ, J., CARDOZO, O. D., GARCÍA-PALOMARES, J. C. (2011): Transit ridership forecasting at station level: an approach based on distance-decay weighted regression. Journal of Transport Geography, 19(6): 1081–1092.
HAJNA, S., DASGUPTA, K., HALPARIN, M., ROSS, N. A. (2013): Neighborhood Walkability. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(6): e55–e59.
HALÁS, M., KLAPKA, P., KLADIVO, P. (2014): Distance-decay functions for daily travel-to-work flows. Journal of Transport Geography, 35: 107–119.
HALÁS, M., KLAPKA, P. (2015): Spatial influence of regional centres of Slovakia: analysis based on the distance-decay function. Rendiconti Lincei. Scienze Fisiche e Naturali, 26(2): 169–185.
HANSEN, W. G. (1959): How Accessibility Shapes Land Use. Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 25(2): 73–76.
HERNÁNDEZ, D., WITTER, R. (2015): Perceived vs. Actual Distance to Transit in Santiago, Chile. Journal of Public Transportation, 18(4): 16–30.
IACONO, M., KRIZEK, K. J., EL-GENEIDY, A. (2010): Measuring non-motorized accessibility: issues, alternatives, and execution. Journal of Transport Geography, 18(1): 133–140.
INGRAM, D. R. (1971): The concept of accessibility: A search for an operational form. Regional Studies, 5(2): 101–107.
JAŚKIEWICZ, M., BESTA, T. (2014): Is Easy Access Related to Better Life? Walkability and Overlapping of Personal and Communal Identity as Predictors of Quality of Life. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 9(3): 505–516.
JÄRV, O., TENKANEN, H., SALONEN, M., AHAS, R., TOIVONEN, T. (2018): Dynamic cities: location-based accessibility modelling as a function of time. Applied geography, 95: 101–110.
JAŚKIEWICZ, M., BESTA, T. (2016): Polish Version of the Neighbourhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS-Poland): International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(11): 1090.
KOOHSARI, M. J., KACZYNSKI, A. T., GILES-CORTI, B., KARAKIEWICZ, J. A. (2013): Effects of access to public open spaces on walking: Is proximity enough? Landscape and Urban Planning, 117: 92–99.
KOSCHINSKY, J., TALEN, E., ALFONZO, M., LEE, S. (2017): How walkable is Walker’s paradise? Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 44(2): 343–363.
KOZINA, J. (2010): Modeliranje prostorske dostopnosti do postajališč javnega potniškega prometa v Ljubljani. Geografski Vestnik, 82(1): 97–107.
KRIZEK, K., HORNING, J., EL-GENEIDY, A. (2012): Perceptions of accessibility to neighbourhood retail and other public services. Accessibility and Transport Planning: Challenges for Europe and North America, 96–117.
KUZMYAK, J., BABER, C., SAVORY, D. (2006): Use of walk opportunities index to quantify local accessibility. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1977(1): 145–153.
KYTTÄ, M., BROBERG, A., HAYBATOLLAHI, M., SCHMIDT-THOME, K. (2016): Urban happiness: context-sensitive study of the social sustainability of urban settings. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 43(1): 34–57.
LARSEN, J., EL-GENEIDY, A., YASMIN, F. (2010): Beyond the quarter mile: re-examining travel distances by active transportation. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 19(1): 70.
LIN, L., MOUDON, A. V. (2010): Objective versus subjective measures of the built environment, which are most effective in capturing associations with walking? Health & Place, 16(2): 339–348.
LOWREY, R. A. (1970): Distance Concepts of Urban Residents. Environment and Behavior, 2(1): 52–73.
LUND, H. (2003): Testing the Claims of New Urbanism: Local Access, Pedestrian Travel, and Neighboring Behaviors. Journal of the American Planning Association, 69(4): 414–429.
LWIN, K. K., MURAYAMA, Y. (2011): Modelling of urban green space walkability: Eco-friendly walk score calculator. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 35(5): 408–420.
MAGHELAL, P. K., CAPP, C. J. (2011): Walkability: A Review of Existing Pedestrian Indices. Journal of the Urban & Regional Information Systems Association, 23(2): 5–19.
MALEŠIČ, M. (2015): Nastanek in rast ljubljanskih stanovanjskih sosesk. AB. Arhitektov bilten, 45: 63–66.
MANAUGH, K., EL-GENEIDY, A. (2011): Validating walkability indices: How do different households respond to the walkability of their neighborhood? Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 16(4): 309–315.
MARTÍNEZ, L. M., VIEGAS, J. M. (2013): A new approach to modelling distance-decay functions for accessibility assessment in transport studies. Journal of Transport Geography, 26: 87–96.
MOUDON, A. V., LEE, C., CHEADLE, A. D., GARVIN, C., JOHNSON, D., SCHMID, T. L., LIN, L. (2006): Operational definitions of walkable neighborhood: theoretical and empirical insights. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 3(1): 99–117.
NARED, J., BOLE, D., VALJAVEC, M. B., CIGLIČ, R., GOLUŽA, M., KOZINA, J., VISKOVIĆ, N. R., REPOLUSK, P., RUS, P., TIRAN, J. AND ISTENIČ, M. Č. (2017): Central settlements in Slovenia in 2016. Acta geographica Slovenica, 57(2): 7–32.
NASTRAN, M., REGINA, H. (2016): Advancing urban ecosystem governance in Ljubljana. Environmental science & policy, 62: 123–126.
OISHI, S., SAEKI, M., AXT, J. (2015): Are People Living in Walkable Areas Healthier and More Satisfied with Life? Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 7(3): 365–386.
OPPEZZO, M., SCHWARTZ, D. L. (2014): Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40(4): 1142–1152.
OWEN, N., HUMPEL, N., LESLIE, E., BAUMAN, A., SALLIS, J. F. (2004): Understanding environmental influences on walking: review and research agenda. American journal of preventive medicine, 27(1): 67–76.
O’SULLIVAN, S., MORRALL, J. (1996): Walking distances to and from light-rail transit stations. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1538(1): 19–26.
PARTZSCH, D. (1964): Zum Begriff der Funktionsgesellschaft. Mitteilungen Des Deutschen Verbandes Für Wohnungswesen, Städtebau Und Raumplanung, 4: 3–10.
PORTA, S., RENNE, J. L. (2005): Linking urban design to sustainability: formal indicators of social urban sustainability field research in Perth, Western Australia. URBAN DESIGN International, 10(1): 51–64.
RAVENSTEIN, E. G. (1885): The Laws of Migration. Journal of the Statistical Society of London, 48(2): 167–235.
REYER, M., FINA, S., SIEDENTOP, S., SCHLICHT, W. (2014): Walkability is Only Part of the Story: Walking for Transportation in Stuttgart, Germany. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(6): 5849–5865.
RICHARDS, F. J. (1959): A flexible growth function for empirical use. Journal of Experimental Botany, 10(2): 290–301.
ROGERS, S. H., HALSTEAD, J. M., GARDNER, K. H., CARLSON, C. H. (2011): Examining Walkability and Social Capital as Indicators of Quality of Life at the Municipal and Neighborhood Scales. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 6(2): 201–213.
RUNDLE, A. G., SHEEHAN, D. M., QUINN, J. W., BARTLEY, K., EISENHOWER, D., BADER, M. M. D., LOVASI, G. S.,NECKERMAN, K. M. (2016): Using GPS Data to Study Neighborhood Walkability and Physical Activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 50(3): e65–e72.
RUNDLE, A., ROUX, A. V. D., FREEMAN, L. M., MILLER, D., NECKERMAN, K. M., WEISS, C. C. (2007): The Urban Built Environment and Obesity in New York City: A Multilevel Analysis. American Journal of Health Promotion, 21(4_suppl): 326–334. https://doi.org/10.4278/0890-1171-21.4s.326
RUPPERT, K. (1984): The concept of social geography. GeoJournal, 9(3): 255–260.
SAELENS, B. E., SALLIS, J. F., BLACK, J. B., CHEN, D. (2003): Neighborhood-Based Differences in Physical Activity: An Environment Scale Evaluation. American Journal of Public Health, 93(9): 1552–1558.
SÄISÄ, J., SVENSSON-GÄRLING, A., GÄRLING, T., LINDBERG, E. (1986): Intraurban Cognitive Distance: The Relationship between Judgments of Straight-Line Distances, Travel Distances, and Travel Times. Geographical Analysis, 18(2): 167–174.
SHRIVER, K. (1997): Influence of Environmental Design on Pedestrian Travel Behavior in Four Austin Neighborhoods. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1578(1): 64–75.
STEWART, J. Q. (1948): Demographic gravitation: evidence and applications. Sociometry, 11(1/2): 31–58.
STOCKTON, J. C., DUKE-WILLIAMS, O., STAMATAKIS, E., MINDELL, J. S., BRUNNER, E. J., SHELTON, N. J. (2016): Development of a novel walkability index for London, United Kingdom: cross-sectional application to the Whitehall II Study. BMC Public Health, 16(1): 416.
ŠAŠEK DIVJAK, M. (2008): Urban planning for the strategic spatial development of Ljubljana. Urbani izziv, 19(1): 133−145.
TAYLOR, P. J., OPENSHAW, S. (1975): Distance decay in spatial interactions. In: Taylor [ed.]: Concepts and Techniques in Modern Geography, 2. Norwich, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia.
TIMMERMANS, H., VAN DER WAERDEN, P., ALVES, M., POLAK, J., ELLIS, S., HARVEY, A. S., KUROSE, S., ZANDEE, R. (2003): Spatial context and the complexity of daily travel patterns: an international comparison. Journal of Transport Geography, 11(1): 37–46.
TIEFELSDORF, M. (2003): Misspecifications in interaction model distance decay relations: A spatial structure effect. Journal of Geographical Systems, 5(1): 25–50.
TIRAN, J. (2016): Measuring urban quality of life: case study of Ljubljana. Acta geographica Slovenica 56(1): 57–73. doi.org/10.3986/AGS.4606.
TIRAN, J., BOLE, D., KUMER, P. (2016): Morfološka tipologija stanovanjskih območij v Ljubljani. Geografski vestnik, 88(1): 37–64.
TOBLER, W. R. (1970): A Computer Movie Simulating Urban Growth in the Detroit Region. Economic Geography, 46(sup1): 234–240.
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON (2015): Assessing transport connectivity in London, 60.
TRIBBY, C. P., MILLER, H. J., BROWN, B. B., WERNER, C. M., SMITH, K. R. (2015): Assessing built environment walkability using activity-space summary measures. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 9(1): 187.
VALE, D. S., PEREIRA, M. (2017): The influence of the impedance function on gravity-based pedestrian accessibility measures: A comparative analysis. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 44(4): 740–763.
VALE, D. S., SARAIVA, M., PEREIRA, M. (2015): Active accessibility: A review of operational measures of walking and cycling accessibility. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 9(1): 2019–2035.
VASCONCELOS, A. S., FARIAS, T. L. (2012): Evaluation of urban accessibility indicators based on internal and external environmental costs. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 17(6): 433–441.