Watch Research Forum on methodologies for researching and exploring walkability

This Recording is from the online Walking Research Forum, held 22 May 2024, where we focused on:

Methodologies for researching and exploring walkability

Studies on the relationship between the built environment and walking behaviour – often called walkability – have in recent years grown into a field of its own. Within this field, a group of built environment metrics are often used to predict the share or number of walking trips. However, despite the vast number of findings confirming these relationships, methodological challenges remain. For instance, these studies have been criticized for not taking subjective factors into account, ignoring distibutional effects between socio-economic groups, using poor proxies for built environment features or assuming these proxies are applicable in “all” urban contexts. Further, emerging new data sources present new possibilities and challenges. This Research Forum includes three research projects all methodologically advancing research on walkability.


Welcome and introduction: Henrik Nolmark

Moderator: Maja Karoline Rynning, The Institute of Transport Economics, Norway


From Accessibility Measures to the Understanding of Walkability
Presenter: Juan Pablo Ospina Zapata, Universidad EAFIT, Colombia
Discussant: Julian Arellana, Universidade del Norte, Brazil

Measuring Walkability: A Comprehensive Index for Enhancing Pedestrian-Friendly Environments in Latin American Cities
Presenter: Ana Margarita Larranaga, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Discussant: Roberto Ponce-Lopez, Tecnológico de Monterrey, México

Walking across borders: Exploring challenges to walkability in the Global South
Presenter: Rounaq Basu, MIT, US
Discussant: Rossana Valdivia Pallares, Tecnológico de Monterrey, México

Plenary Discussion
Closing – news from VREF


Since 2021, the VREF Mobility and Access in African Cities (MAC) program has hosted a series of virtual seminars known as “VREF MAC Research Forums”. The seminars focus on recent or ongoing research in the area of sustainable mobility & equitable access in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) cities. The purpose of the Research Forum is: ›› to stimulate scientific discussion of specific issues/themes related to sustainable urban mobility and equitable access in SSA; ›› to provide an opportunity for MAC scholars to present and discuss their on-going work with research colleagues within the MAC community; ›› to provide a meeting place for dialogue and exchange among researchers and other stakeholders within the MAC community.

The Research Forum on 17 April 2024 is the eleventh in the special series “MAC NextGen Research Forums” – designed specifically for young scholars in the SSA community.

Do you have questions, thoughts or ideas related to the MAC program? Do not hesitate to contact us: