- Building a Better World upon Local Empirical Walking Data: A Case of a Pedestrian Project in Chongqing, China    click here to open paper content2079 kb
by    Yang, Jiang & Villadsen, Kristian & Deurs, Camilla | yangjiang@chinastc.org   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper introduces a comprehensive survey methodology for walking in cities. It describes a pilot experiment in Chongqing, China. It also illustrates how the data can be used for problem diagnostics and bench-marking in this pedestrian project.
In the search for creating sustainable cities, the world of urban planning practice is giving increasing attention to walking and biking. However, amidst tremendous efforts to collect vehicle flow data and building traffic models in all cities around the world, so far little attention has been given to the accumulation of local empirical data on walking and biking, making it hard for politicians and planners to make informed decisions and to evaluate what makes the most efficient use of space. The world is so diverse and every city possesses unique geography/socio-cultural context. Without empirical local knowledge in how people walk and bike in the city, the quality of existing public space and how it is being used, any decisions or actions for improvement will be blindly guided. In 2010, the city of Chongqing launched a pedestrian project. In summer and fall 2010, comprehensive surveys on local citizens’ walking patterns and public space were performed on three pedestrian routes. The purpose was to collect base-line data about the routes for problem diagnostics and bench-marking prior to improvement implementation. The “Public Life Public Space Survey” – is a survey methodology invented by Jan Gehl- and adapted to Chongqing in collaboration with Gehl Architects. This experiment has proven to be a useful tool for the ongoing work of improving the quality of the walking environment in Chongqing.
The paper will first set up the context of transportation research in China and call for the need for data collection on walking and biking. Second, the paper will introduce the survey method and pilot experiment in Chongqing. Third, results from data processing, visualization and quantitative analysis will be described (e.g., comparing walking timing pattern in Chongqing with other international cities and streets) as well as derived design recommendations and political influence. Forth, conclusions and lessons of Chongqing efforts will be discussed for the purpose of conducting such survey in the rest of China and the world.
public life public space survey, pedestrian, chongqing
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