Influence of street design characteristics on walkability: Case studies of two neighborhoods in Erbil
Walkability refers to different characteristics of the built environment that creates a space that encourages walking and reduces car dependence. The major purpose of this research is to test the effects of street design characteristics on walkability. This study also aims to address the lack of scientific knowledge regarding factors that affect walkability at street level in residential neighborhoods and how they influence walking behavior. The research problem formulated is “a shortage of scientific knowledge exists about the performed rate of walkability at the street level in residential neighborhoods in Erbil City”. Case studies were conducted in two neighborhoods in Erbil City, namely, Gulan 1 neighborhood (as a planned neighborhood by the municipality) and Hiran City 1 (as an investment neighborhood). The hypotheses were drawn on the basis of the research problem. To achieve the research objectives, the authors identified the environmental indicators in the literature review and assessed their impacts on the relationship between walking activity and build environment in two neighborhoods. The research was conducted in two steps. First, detailed indicators were measured at street level to determine street level walkability. Then, walking behavior was evaluated to find its relationship with street walkability. By analyzing the results of these two steps and discovering the relationship among the outcomes, the researchers tested the validity of the drawn hypotheses. Finally, a set of conclusions were established regarding street walkability and walking behavior.
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