Archive for the 'Walking' Category

Intersection density and walkability

In my feedback for URA’s Concept Plan 2011, I followed up on the suggestions of the focus group to improve walkability. From comparing my own experiences walking in Singapore versus elsewhere, I found that I enjoyed walking much more in cities with frequent intersections. It means you don’t have to walk a long way to the next intersection if you want to cross a road, and it also slows down traffic, thus increasing the pleasantness of the environment for walkers. Apparently there’s now a study supporting my intuition.

In terms of friendliness to cyclists, too high an intersection density might prove annoying unless there is a “green wave”. But too low a density, as is the case in Singapore, means that the few intersections there are tend to be large and high traffic. These tend to be more dangerous for cyclists. The parts of my Singapore commute I dreaded most were the tricky intersections. After many hours of staring at maps I was still unable to purge them from my commute, and any commute from the northeast to the west of Singapore remains woefully unconnected by any park connectors.

EU Obesity Rates versus Walking Rates

After reading this post at GNXP on obesity rates, I plotted obesity rates (2005) versus walking rates (2000) for 15 EU nations. The negative correlation is not surprising, but what is odd is that the three outliers for obesity (UK, Greece and Luxembourg) seem to form a linear regression by themselves, and the other nations cluster at a much lower level of obesity, with also a clear linear regression amongst themselves. [Update: Replaced original graphic with labelled graph. The cluster of three countries with overlapping labels consists of Spain, Germany and Ireland.]

I wanted to plot similar statistics for more countries, specifically to find out why Canada has much lower obesity rates than other English-speaking countries (UK, US, NZ, Australia). But I couldn’t find more statistics on walking.