Measuring Walkability for More Liveable and Sustainable Cities
The Case of Mersin City Centre
Keywords:public space, walkability, liveability, sustainability, mersin, city centre
Walkability is of rising importance in planning and design circles. In Turkey and the world, it is increasingly recognized as an urban strategy to create healthy societies within sustainable and ‘liveable’ cities. Despite this interest, the extent to which Turkish cities are walkable remains questionable. Defining the performative features of walkability, this research offers a micro- scale walkability assessment model with eight qualitative and quantitative factors of urban design. Describing the model with its factors, this article first presents a research methodology, then explores the walkability level of the historic city centre of Mersin, specifically Ataturk and Uray Streets (AUS). Finally, it discusses the major planning and design strategies that can improve walkability and liveability level of the historic city centre of Mersin, and underlines the contributions the model can make to current planning practice with reference to inclusive, human-centred and flexible design approaches. The research concludes that a sensitive qualitative and quantitative assessment of walkability is necessary to identify the walkability level of urban space. Additionally, it suggests that a comprehensive, integrated, and multi-dimensional planning and design approach regarding micro-scale, meso-scale and macro-scale is required to develop holistic and integrated urban design strategies to achieve walkable, liveable and sustainable cities.
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