Dell Asin, Giulia
A qualitative approach to assessing the pedestrian environment.
In: "XI International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities", 16/11/2010 - 19/11/2010, La Haya, Paises Bajos.
European cities have always been attentive to the needs of pedestrians, and walking has traditionally been the prevailing means of transport. However, during the last century, car driving has been granted increasing priority in investment programs, and the rising urban car dependency has negatively affected pedestrians quality needs (PQN). Because of these problems, European cities will have to differently approach car-oriented policies, aiming at a more sustainable design and transport planning, as well as an effective mobility management. Generally, countries appear to be on the right path, and there are several examples of pedestrian-friendly cities. However, more needs to be done and in the European context there are too many disparities between countries performing at different levels. This article presents the PQN matrix, a qualitative approach to assessing pedestrian environment, which translated pedestrians’ quality needs into five basic requirements: connectivity, conspicuity 1 , comfort, convenience and conviviality. This framework only takes into account the connection between pedestrians’ needs and the environment, whilst neglecting the other three components of the system, i.e. person, vehicle and organisation. A practical application is also provided, through the analysis of twenty pedestrian-friendly cities in the countries taking part in COST Action 358. This analysis aims at developing a comprehensive comparison among these cities, stressing their differences and similarities. This article is based on the key findings achieved by the Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) that took place in February and March 2008 at AVV Transport Research Centre DVS in Rotterdam (The Netherlands)