From the Urban DMA to Walkability and Walking

19 septembre 2023


LOCI Brussels and online participation in Teams

Research Seminar by Dr Elek Pafka from the ‘Informal Urbanism Research Hub (InfUr-), the University of Melbourne

Walkability has emerged as a focus of multi-disciplinary research, linked to the aims of reversing car-dependence and re-enabling walking as a healthy, environmentally sustainable and sociable mode of mobility. While often conflated with actual walking, etymologically walkability refers to the capacity for walking enabled by the built environment. It is linked to density, mix and access at the neighbourhood-scale, as well as elements of the street section such as footpaths and landscaping. Yet none of these can be reduced to a simple measure, nor are these separable from the natural conditions of topography or climate. What research methods can capture spatial properties linked to walkability in a non-reductionist way? The seminar presents recent research in formal and informal settings, including findings from the newly released Atlas of Informal Settlement.

Elek Pafka is Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning and Urban Design at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on the relationship between material density, urban form and the intensity of urban life, as well as methods of mapping the 'pulse' of the city. He is co-editor of Mapping Urbanities: Morphologies, Flows, Possibilities (2018, Routledge), and co-author of the Atlas of Informal Settlement (2023, Bloomsbury).