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Graphical approach to assess urban quality: Mapping walkability based on the TOD-standard

Article published in Cities

Graphical expression through mapping can be an essential tool to conduct urban analysis, capable of expressing contextual spatial distribution and providing complementary information to numerical analysis. Although urban analytics are central for most issues in cities, mobility and transportation have traditionally been disciplines very tightly related with quantitative analysis. Mobility in urban areas has become a central issue due to its high impact in environmental, social and economic concerns. Multiple studies consider that walking presents social, health, economic and environmental benefits as a short distance transportation mode. As pedestrian displacements are characterized by presenting great adherence, the features of the environment where they are performed is key to guarantee their success and promote their use. To be able to design appropriate walking city conditions, it is necessary to undergo extensive analysis of existing urban areas and their walkability impact. In order to illustrate this, this study takes as a basis the Transit Orientated Development Standard (TOD Standard), a scoring instrument defined by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), to evaluate the area of Saint-Lazare multimodal station in Paris. The aim of this work is to compare its quantitative and graphical results through georeferenced mapping and TOD Standard score based numerical data, in order to identify the complementary information provided by the mapping. The conclusions display the importance of using graphical analysis to be able to spot singular spatial distributions and influencing relations within the urban environment, often imperceptible in numerical values.


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