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Student: Tasnim Jaradat

Advisor: Dr. Anne Gharaibeh

April 18, 2017
Term Paper: Statement of the problem, Phase 1

Analyzing the factors affecting walkability within the built

environment of four neighborhoods in Irbid city as a case study

Walking is considered an activity that engage most people, since it was for majority of people
the only way to move and go to practice their daily lives. Despite all the available
transportation modes, at some point in the day, everyone is a pedestrian.

By going through the literature, various opinions, approaches to define walkability have been
included, according to (Southworth, 2005), the walkability defined as: the extent to which
the built environment supports and encourages walking by providing for pedestrian comfort
and safety, connecting people with varied destinations within a reasonable amount of time
and effort and offering visual interest in journeys throughout the network.

Walking and walkable environments have been associated with many benefits that range from
decrease air pollution and traffic congestion to solve obesity and associated health problems
(Park 2008) referenced in (de Cambra, P.J.M., 2012), also it has been considered that
walkability is a key component in a sustainable transportation network ,which creates social
value, promotes vibrant and livable cities as well as benefits to human health, economic
stability and environmental protection (Park,2008; Keating et al , 2005) referenced in (Tier,
A.; Domokos, S., 2014 )

Growing numbers of researches interested in walkability have been conducted, many studies
assessed the walkability in cities, and other studies measured the walkability by different
tools. The issue of examining walkability of neighborhoods has gained attention among
various researches and they embarked both quantitative and qualitative measures, and
researches differentiated according to the scale of factors that were measured. Many studies
analyzed macro scale factors at neighborhood characteristic level such as; (Larsen et al,
2009), assumed that the built environment includes diverse uses of land for
different types of facilities, such as shops and restaurants as well as
residential density , and found that there is a strong relationship between
mixed land use pattern and neighborhood walkability, another study by
Dill (2004) concluded that block density was strongly associated with
walkability in terms that when blocks are shorter , the potential for
movement increased.

Also Leslie et al (2005), conducted a research which aims to assess the

relationship between the built environment attributes and walking activity.
While many other researchers analyzed the walkability at micro scale street level suggesting
that it is very important since users are more exposed to the micro-features of the built
environment while walking (Talen, 2002).

Another study by (Ledraa.T, 2015) examined how the built environment

correlates with walking behavior in Riyadh, by analyzing the walkability in
the city at macro and micro scale, but did not include perceptions of
users, while Kubat.A and zer. (2014) has studied the environmental
perceptions of pedestrians to evaluate walkability levels in 3 districts in
Istanbul , depending on the fact, there is relation between built
environment and walking behavior that the attributes of a place can
influence the individuals choice in terms of travelling. This relation
demonstrates that the attributes of a place can affect perceptions
(Schmid, 2006).

In the light of the reviewed literature, the aim of this study is to examine
factors affecting the walkability with in the built environment of selected
neighborhoods .the study will incorporate factors at the macro level in
terms of neighborhood scale which measures will be quantitative, and
micro level in terms of street scale, at the street scale the variables will be
presented in qualitative measures, including perceptual measures of
street users.

Four neighborhoods in Irbid city will be examined , 2 of them relatively
new, and the other 2 relatively old neighborhood, in order to fully explain
and assess the factors affecting walkability within different characterized
study areas.

Methodology and Data collection procedures:

The steps of the proposed methodology and data collection procedures
were adopted from different studies formulating a mixed approach.

1- Macro scale data including Neighborhood general urban form

characteristics in terms of (Spatial distribution of land use patterns,
Residential Density, Street Density and block density) obtained from GIS
layers. The data and the methodology in this step adopted from Ledraa.T
(2015) study.

2- Micro Scale data including street characteristics (qualitative factors) in

terms of users perception about pedestrian route quality , continuous
sidewalks, street trees , accessibility , street scape , aesthetic , perception
of safety , liveliness , cleanliness and sense of place and enclosure . These
data will be collected by conducting a questionnaire in the observed
locations. The questionnaire use of a semantic differential technique

where participants are given pairs of oppositional adjectives with a rating
scale and analyzed with principal component analysis. The data and the
methodology in this step adopted from (Kubat.A, zer., 2014).

3- Pedestrian count data will be obtained from field observation, recording

pedestrian movement levels in specified locations of both local and main
streets within the four case areas. The data and the methodology in this
step adopted from Ledraa.T (2015) study.

4- Finally all the data obtained from the previous steps will gathered and
combined as a single database table to be analyzed statistically and to
define the correlational relationships among them.

Expected Outcome:
It is expected that the study will assess and examine the significance of
factors affecting walkability at macro and micro levels. It is also expected
that the study will contribute to better understanding walkability
measures and help planning professionals to be able to address the
quality of the pedestrian environment in the studied area, and to translate
the perceptual quality of walking, which may facilitate the progress
towards more integrated, appealing, walking conductive and towards
sustainable city.

References :

Southworth, M., 2005. Designing the walkable city. Journal of urban planning and
development, 131(4), pp.246-257.

Tier, A. and Domokos, S., 2014. Walkability on University Avenue. Dalhousie University.

de Cambra, P.J.M., 2012. Pedestrian accessibility and attractiveness indicators for

walkability assessment (Doctoral dissertation, Thesis for the Master Degree (MSc) in Urban
Studies and Territorial Management).

Bhadra, S., Sazid, A.T. and Esraz-Ul-Zannat, M., A GIS Based Walkability Measurement
within the Built Environment of Khulna City, Bangladesh. Journal of Bangladesh Institute of
Planners ISSN, 2075, p.9363. Available from:
ent_within_the_Built_Environment_of_Khulna_City_Bangladesh [accessed Apr 18, 2017].