Walkability in neighbourhood design

Wide footpath in a shopping strip which has a veranda overhead. There are planter boxes and a seat.Health professionals cite the lack of walking as a major factor in poor long term health, but do planners consider this in their schemes? But more importantly, do they consider the breadth and diversity of the population? Do they consider walkability in neighbourhood design?

This topic is of particular interest to Lisa Stafford and Claudia Baldwin in their publication, Planning Walkable Neighborhoods: Are we overlooking diversity in ability and ages? This article is available through Sage Journals via your institution. Or you can access for a free read through QUT e-prints

Abstract: Despite growing numbers of studies on planning walkable neighborhoods, few have included people with diverse abilities across the age spectrum. This article demonstrates a need for more inclusion of human diversity in walkable neighborhoods research to better inform policy, planning, and design interventions that are spatially and socially just for all ages and all abilities. Our study addresses this through a critical review of the literature, highlighting existing research practices, known person–environment influences on walkability, and limitations within current knowledge. We recommend future integrated and inclusive research directions to encapsulate diversity of abilities and ages in walkable neighborhood studies.