Specialists of the New York Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP) published a study in which they studied the accessibility of about 1000 cities in the world for pedestrians. ITDP believes that it is pedestrian traffic that helps improve air quality, improve the health of residents, fight traffic jams, reduce accidents, and so on. The researchers consider an increase in the size of the city to be a dead-end way of development, which leads to an increase in the number of cars.
The ITDP study is called Pedestrian Priority. In it, researchers analyze the world’s cities across a range of pedestrian convenience parameters:
“Step-by-step (no further than 100 m) accessibility of car-free zones” – parks, squares, pedestrian zones, etc .;
“Walking distance (no more than 1 km) of medical and educational institutions”;
“Average density and size of the city block / district”.
The authors of the report believe that right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictive measures, city authorities should pay special attention to making them more convenient for pedestrians. First, it allows less use of public transport, which automatically reduces the risk of infection. Secondly, it gives people the opportunity to move more, which is especially important for health after a long stay in quarantine / self-isolation.
In the category of “walking accessibility of zones, free cars”, the first place was taken by a rather compact Hong Kong, followed by Moscow, third place – Paris, fourth – Bogota, fifth – London.
The French capital took the first place in terms of pedestrian accessibility to medical and educational institutions. The study notes that 85% of city residents have such institutions no more than 1 km from their place of residence – this is the maximum indicator among all cities. In second place in this parameter is the capital of Peru – Lima. London was in the top 5 and in this parameter – in third place. The rest of the five places are again in the cities of South America: the fourth place is in Santiago (Chile), the fifth place is Bogota.
In terms of the average density and size of urban blocks / districts, the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, came first. In second place is Bogota, in third – Lima, in fourth – Pakistani Karachi, in fifth – Japanese Tokyo. The study authors note that more compact neighborhoods / neighborhoods and lower building densities make it easier for people to move between neighborhoods on foot and spend less time walking around large buildings. “To improve the conditions for pedestrians and increase their safety, it is necessary to change the balance between cars and people towards people,” – quoted by The Guardian IDTP director Heather Thompson. “Our streets are full of cars,” says the study’s author, IDTP employee Taylor Reich. “If you want to make pedestrian accessibility as bad as possible, you need to stretch cities, as is the case in the United States. There may be good sidewalks, but everything is so far away that it is almost impossible to walk to the nearest grocery store or school. ”