THE EXPERIENCE OF URBAN WALKING AS A GUIDANCE FOR URBAN QUALITY ASSESSMENT
2nd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2015, www.sgemsocial.org , SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-50-6 / ISSN 2367-5659 , Aug 26-Sept 01; Book 4, Vol. 1, 693 - 700 pp
A major goal in contemporary urban planning and design is to provide a built environment that is conducive to walk. A city where people choose to walk as a means of transport and enjoy such activity, is closely related to physical and psychological health, social contact and urban sustainability.
Nevertheless the above mentioned conduciveness is often focused on the most functional requirements of the urban layout at the sacrifice of other more subtle requirements such as the quality of the walking experience and related concepts of livability and identity among others.
We aim at investigating the relationship between specific qualities of the urban environment and the quality of the experience of urban walking. We assume sensory and formal qualities of the urban environment are responsible of the pedestrian’s experience, and consider "sensory and formal" qualities somehow different from "functional" qualities.
The state of the art is established from the following fields of study: walkability of cities, livability of cities, urban design practices, and the most influential sustainability certifications applied to the urban context.
From the knowledge gained through the literature review, a rating table is designed involving scores linked to the presence or not of specific elements as well as descriptions and images that define certain qualities. This table is used as a tool to assess the built environment in terms of the quality of urban walking experience.
The results of the investigation are supportive of some lines of work although they also raise questions regarding the suitability of addressing such a complex, and to some degree subjective, topic as it is the experience of walking through indicators and rating charts.
Keywords: Walking Experience, Urban Quality, Built Environment
PAPER DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2015/B41/S15.085 : THE EXPERIENCE OF URBAN WALKING AS A GUIDANCE FOR URBAN QUALITY ASSESSMENT
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