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Project WalkUrban

How walkable are our cities? How can we develop methods to evaluate the user perspective of walkability? WalkUrban explores walkability in three European cities, Gothenburg, Genoa, and Dortmund.

Walkable cities

Research on day-to-day travel and mobility from the user perspective has not previously been prioritized within the EU. The WalkUrban project main aim is to investigate and understand how more walkable cities can be created in order to promote sustainable and active travel. Psychological, geographical, policy- and planning perspectives are included in the research which explores possibilities and barriers for walking in differens urban environments.

Data collection in Genoa, Dortmund and Gothenburg

We compare walking conditions and experiences within and between the three cities using a mixed methods approach. On top of the general population, we also focus on a number of target groups, for example:

  • commuters
  • school children
  • individuals with disabilities

By studying objective, subjective and percieved walkability we identify proomotors and barriers for walking as well as walking in combination with public transport.

Guidelines based on user perspectives

The project aims at developing guidelines for promoting walking as a mode of transport for a diverse population in the city. By studying (percieved) conditions for walking in the three European cities, as well as prerequisites for, and experience of, different target groups we will create knowledge based on the users own perspectives. This knowledge will inform practical guidelines in collaboration with local stakeholders.

The project aims at developing guidelines for:

  • creating and evaluating walkable neighbourhoods – based on new knowledge and theory as well as new methods for capturing accessibility and walkability
  • promoting walkability and accessibility for individuals with different needs and abilities

Walkable neighbourhoods – freeing up potential for sustainable and active travel by promoting walking as a mode of transport.

Gående människor.

Research questions

  • How can we develop methods and instruments for evaluating walkability in urban environments, and in combination with public transport?
  • What are the promoting and hindering factors for creating urban neighbourhoods that (different groups of) individuals will want to walk in?
  • How can we develop easy to use, practical tools for evaluations of walkability and accessibility which are useful for planners and practitioners across Europe?
  • How can we create guidelines and recommendations for planning walkable and accessible urban environments – using the aggregated results from the project?

Project Facts

Full name: Walkable Urban Neighbourhoods – Freeing up Potential for Sustainable and Active Travel by Improving Walking and its Connections with Public Transport.

Project coordinator Sweden: Katrin Lättman, University of Gävle

Project coordinator (consortium): Noriko Otsuka, ILS, Germany

Project menbers: Edward Prichard, University of Gävle; Jonas De Vos, UCL; Janina Welch, ILS, Anna-Lena Van der Vlugt, ILS, Paola Debandi, Genoa municipality and more

Duration of project: June 2021– May 2024

Funders: Energimyndigheten, Formas, Vinnova (a project within JPI Europe: ENUAC EraNet Urban Accessibility and Connectivity)

Want to read more about the project?
Read more at walkurban.eu


Katrin Lättman, project coordinator

Email: katrin.lattman@hig.se
Telephone: +46 70 889 81 06

Published by: Elin Krans Page responsible: Magnus Isaksson Updated: 2023-03-28
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)