Vol. 11 No. 2 (2014): Space Syntax

Walkability and the complexity of walking behavior

Eunyoung Choi
School of Architecture and Built Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, SWEDEN

Published 2014-12-01


  • Walkability,
  • pedestrian behavior,
  • pedestrian movement

How to Cite

Choi, E. (2014). Walkability and the complexity of walking behavior. A|Z ITU JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE, 11(2), 87 - 99. Retrieved from https://www.az.itu.edu.tr/index.php/jfa/article/view/456


The issue of pedestrian-friendly urban environments has been of increasing importance lately in urban planning and design. In order to develop a better knowledge about the walkability of the built environment, it is important to understand the complexity behind walking behavior. Since different kinds of walking activities vary in their goal, effort, frequency, duration, etc., they also vary in how strongly and in what aspect they are influenced by the condition of urban form. With an empirical study in three residential areas in Stockholm, Sweden, this study investigated the different types of walking activities in how they interact with the built environment. The results showed that the condition of the built environment related to the density, connectivity, and land-use diversity seems to influence the amount and diversity of walking activities and also affect how the walking activities are conducted. This is related to the degree of the potential urban form has in providing the different qualities that the pedestrians desire from the environment, which is not only related to providing walking destinations and possible routes, but also qualities that enhance the experiential quality of walking. Investigating the different aspects of walking in how they occur and are conducted in the urban environment is important in understanding why and how different conditions of the urban form discourage or encourage walking. This is not only useful in providing insights for more accurate knowledge on walkability, but also assists a better understanding and application of other urban design theories on pedestrian movement as well.