In November 2020, we were one of the winning teams at the MobiDataBW Hackathon with our "Walkability Index" for pedestrian friendliness. As part of a three-month follow-up grant from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport, we were able to further develop the prototype in an innovation project. We applied the index to the pilot municipality of Freiburg under the name WALKIE (“WALKability IndEx”). The Walkability Index combines a variety of attributes (surface texture, lighting, traffic safety, environment, etc.) into an aggregated index that shows how attractive the walkways are. In this way, weak points in the footpath network can be identified.
Comparison of potential pedestrian flows and the walkability index
The number of pedestrians on a certain path segment is also an important indicator for prioritizing improvement measures. Another GOAT functionality was developed for this purpose, which shows the pedestrian potential flows.
As an application example, the potential pedestrian flows for school trips to elementary schools were calculated for the City of Freiburg. The share of children between the ages of 6 and 9 was known, so it was possible to estimate how many children live in each house. In the next step, the shortest route to the respective district elementary school was calculated from all residential buildings. The individual flows were summed up and result in the aggregated potential pedestrian flows.
By comparing the walkability index with the potential pedestrian flows, it was analyzed which routes are high frequented and at the same time have low walkability. These should be prioritized during planning.
Blog posts about this project: