The National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) works to advance the notion that research, collaboration, engagement and thoughtful policy development hold the key to a smarter and more sustainable approach to urban and regional development. NCSG is based at the University of Maryland, College Park, housed under the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, with support from the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the School of Public Policy, and the Office of the Provost.
Browsing National Center for Smart Growth Research Works by Author "Clemente, Otto"
In active living research, measures used to characterize the built environment have been mostly gross qualities such as neighborhood density and park access. This project has developed operational definitions and measurement protocols for subtler urban design qualities believed to be related to walkability. METHODS: Methods included: 1) recruiting an expert panel; 2) shooting video clips of streetscapes; 3) rating urban design qualities of streetscapes by the expert panel; 4) measuring physical features of streetscapes from the video clips; 5) testing inter-rater reliability of physical measurements and urban design quality ratings; 6) statistically analyzing relationships between physical features and urban design quality ratings, 7) selecting of qualities for operationalization, and 8) developing of operational definitions and measurement protocols for urban design qualities based on statistical relationships. RESULTS: Operational definitions and measurement protocols were developed for five of nine urban design qualities: imageability, visual enclosure, human scale, transparency, and complexity. CONCLUSIONS: A field survey instrument has been developed, tested in the field, and further refined for use in active living research.
This manual is the product of nearly a year and a half of research on urban design qualities related to walkability. It builds on a growing body of evidence that links the built environment to active living. This manual will provide a qualitative introduction to several key urban design qualities from the urban design literature, and then will provide guidance on how to objectively measure each quality for a typical street.