File Name: using open source data to measure street walkability and bikeability in china .zip
Microscale environmental features are usually evaluated using direct on-street observations. This study assessed inter-rater reliability of the Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes, Global version MAPS-Global , in an international context, comparing on-street with more efficient online observation methods in five countries with varying levels of walkability.
Cycling provides opportunities to promote healthy and sustainable cities. This study explored the attributes of perceived bikeability and urban context related to the cycling experience in Seoul, Korea. Purposive sampling with public recruitment and a snowball technique was used to recruit twenty-two cyclists and three bicycle-related community service providers from a bikeable environment. Qualitative multi-methods, including semi-structured interviews and bicycle tours with a GPS device, were adopted.
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Cycling provides opportunities to promote healthy and sustainable cities. This study explored the attributes of perceived bikeability and urban context related to the cycling experience in Seoul, Korea.
Purposive sampling with public recruitment and a snowball technique was used to recruit twenty-two cyclists and three bicycle-related community service providers from a bikeable environment.
Qualitative multi-methods, including semi-structured interviews and bicycle tours with a GPS device, were adopted. The main themes of perceived bikeability were derived through thematic analysis.
Cyclists perceived the attributes of a bicycle-friendly physical environment as essential components of bikeability. In urban environments where cycling is not yet recognized as the main transportation mode, internal conflict among cyclists and external conflicts between cyclists and other transportation users were evident.
A supportive community system included developing an appropriate environment, providing information, and expanding riding opportunities. A bicycle-friendly culture accumulated over a long period influenced the initiation and maintenance of cycling and contributed to a more bikeable community environment.
Policy, system, and environmental changes are required to promote cycling in compact urban contexts. Promoting active transportation is recognized as a strategy to address urban problems caused by car-dependent structures [ 1 ].
Cycling, one mode of active transportation, provides environmental benefits by reducing traffic congestion, energy consumption, and carbon emissions, contributing to creating a sustainable city [ 2 ].
From a health perspective, cycling promotes an active lifestyle by reducing sedentary behaviors and helps prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes [ 3 ]. As urban planners and policymakers agree on the benefits of urban cycling, its promotion has emerged on the policy agenda [ 4 ]. Bikeability is the extent of comfort residents feel when navigating the community via a bicycle [ 5 ]. It is determined by the interaction between aspects associated with perceived environment, cycling infrastructure and behavior [ 6 , 7 ].
Several studies on bikeability have explored factors influencing cycling [ 8 , 9 , 10 ] and developed indicators of a bicycle-friendly environment [ 11 , 12 ]. Despite academic discussions on the multidimensional factors of bikeability from a socio-ecological perspective [ 13 , 14 ], existing studies mostly focus on the physical environmental characteristics of bikeability and use objective measurements of the cycling infrastructure [ 15 , 16 ].
This leads to a mismatch between the perceived and objective aspects of bikeability, and there is a risk of missing the community context to which cycling is related [ 7 ]. Few studies have examined the perceived cycling environment [ 5 , 17 , 18 ]. These discuss aesthetics, connectivity, convenience, maintenance, and safety as perceived environmental attributes related to cycling, although major attributes differ according to the urban context.
Most research on perceived bikeability has been conducted in Western Europe and the US [ 17 , 18 ], and evidence on the cycling experience in the compact urban forms of Asian countries is scant. The characteristics of compact cities in Asian countries differ from those of the built environment in Western cities. Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, ranked highest in population density among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD member countries, and can be used as a case study to elucidate living in compact urban forms [ 19 ].
In the Seoul Metropolitan Area, land uses in the urban core are highly mixed. Furthermore, the building form is high-rise because land-use regulations have been relaxed [ 20 ]. Since , the Seoul Metropolitan Government has promoted urban policies for active transportation to achieve efficient urban mobility in densely populated and mixed land use areas. Bikeability is characterized by the lived experience of cyclists and the cycling environment.
Furthermore, it is unknown how cyclists behave in compact urban forms and the environmental contexts involved in bicycle use. Therefore, we explored the attributes of perceived bikeability and the cycling experience in the urban context of Seoul. This study was conducted in Yangcheon-gu, a southwestern district of Seoul.
The overall topography of the district is low-lying land with surrounding rivers. The central area houses a mixture of cram schools, shopping outlets, restaurants, and large residential high-rise buildings inhabited mostly by middle and upper-income families. The city government designated Yangcheon-gu as a bicycle-friendly district in [ 23 ]. The bicycle-friendly environmental features of the district include one-way main streets and riverside bicycle paths. The total length of all-type-bikeways in Yangcheon-gu is Parking facilities for bicycles were constructed at locations to accommodate 12, bicycles, including at subway stations, bus stops, and schools.
In , bicycle use for transport in Yangcheon-gu was 5. Yangcheon-gu is a representative case of Seoul to explore the context and cycling experience in compact urban forms with a bikeable environment.
We applied qualitative multi-methods, namely in-depth interviews and a bicycle tour to explore the perceived bikeability of the neighborhood. Data were collected from August to October Purposive sampling of daily cyclists was conducted using a variety of recruitment strategies, including public recruitment at cycling places e. Interview participants were categorized by the purpose of cycling transportation or leisure.
The interview was saturated [ 24 ] with approximately 10 people per category, and an overall number of 22 cyclists 13 transport, nine leisure participated in the study Table 1. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the meaning of cycling in urban life, the experience of cycling in a compact urban environment, and the perceived attributes of a bicycle-friendly environment.
Each interviewee rode a bicycle with a Global Positioning System GPS device to map their usual course of biking in the neighborhood. We met with the participants again to retrieve the GPS and photos and recorded their explanations of the content in the photos. Three additional interviews were conducted with public and civic service providers related to promoting cycling in the community.
They provided information on the bicycle-related services and policies in the community, which was used to interpret cyclist interviews and describe community context. We performed thematic analysis [ 25 ] on verbatim transcripts of audio-recorded interview data. After reading the transcripts repeatedly and becoming familiarized with the data, we derived codes for the concepts and characteristics related to bikeability.
Themes were derived through comparing, matching, and categorizing the codes. The GPS records and photos collected through the bicycle tour were synthesized to Google Maps [ 26 ]. The bike icon and a brief description were attached to the places the pictures were taken. This mapping enabled the identification of patterns and characteristics of cycling in daily life and perceived bikeability. The comparison and analysis of information collected through qualitative multi-methods reinforced the trustworthiness of the study through triangulation [ 27 ].
The attributes of perceived bikeability were derived from the following four themes: 1 a bicycle-friendly physical environment, 2 supportive community system, 3 cultural influence, and 4 conflicts over cycling.
The purpose of cycling induced differences in perceived bikeability and cycling behavior. Cyclists in this study reported cycling safety by avoiding congestion, convenient usability of cycling infrastructure, and pleasantness of the neighborhood environment as attributes characterizing a bicycle-friendly physical environment. In the community, most destinations for transportation cycling were concentrated in the central area, which comprises mixed traffic streets.
In particular, transportation cyclists felt anxiety and fatigue when cycling in the central area and a designated cycling space was needed to improve their safety. However, public service providers responded that the street design for mixed land use was inevitable in the central area and there were institutional and spatial limitations on expanding bicycle-only spaces.
Most participants defined convenience as useful and usable infrastructure related to overall cycling behavior such as bicycle riding, parking, maintenance, and taking a break while cycling. Most photo data by the participants 35 of 48 photos, Furthermore, highly accessible and well-maintained bicycle repair facilities, bicycle parking facilities, and rest benches were highlighted as assets to facilitate cycling. However, the spatial behavior maps from the bicycle tours showed areas where cycling behavior patterns and cycling infrastructure were mismatched Figure 2.
Motivations for leisure purposes included emotional emancipation and stress reduction. Most leisure cyclists preferred cycling in spacious parks or green spaces. Condensed community design, including the distribution of amenities close to residential and mixed land use areas, was also identified as a physical environmental factor driving cycling for fun.
However, interesting places to cycle such as the main street area posed safety issues because their aesthetic appeal caused high congestion. Furthermore, natural environmental aspects such as the weather, landform, and air quality affected the perceived pleasantness of the neighborhood environment. All participants identified a bicycle-friendly physical environment as a multi-attribute concept related to various environmental factors such as land use, transportation, the street environment, green spaces, and natural environment.
On the other hand, all service providers focused only on attributes related to cycling infrastructure, showing a narrower scope. All transportation cyclists experienced conflicts with pedestrians and motorists in the community, where biking is not yet considered a major mode of urban mobility Figure 3 B. This involved the attitude of pedestrians familiar with the mixed traffic streets and high street density. The greatest conflict was with motorists. Drivers unhappy about sharing roads with cyclists reacted aggressively by honking or pushing cyclists to the shoulder of roads.
Factors that hinder bikeability. B Conflicts over bicycle use: left —Illegal parking; right —Pedestrian walking on bikeway. C Supportive community system: left —Poor management of road; center —A bicycle with a saddle stolen; right —Bicycle management equipment with insufficient instruction.
Most participants also experienced internal conflicts. They wanted to be considerate of cyclists; however, they realized that they become impatient and agitated when they felt that cyclists hindered their walking or driving. Internal conflict also occurred regarding protective gear.
While safety was a priority among cyclists, they did not wear a helmet or other protective gear because wearing such equipment is neither fashionable nor comfortable.
The perception that cycling in the neighborhood in everyday life is not as serious and dangerous as cycling as a sport also contributed to not using personal protective equipment.
The limitations of individual efforts to increase bicycle use and need for a community system were discussed.
The supportive community system defined by participants means creating and managing policies that support cycling at the organizational and societal level and expanding cycling opportunities in the community. Building an anti-theft system was also emphasized. Bicycle theft was a major concern, greatly influencing the usage and maintenance of bicycles in the community Figure 3 C. This concern discouraged cycling, as transportation cyclists were reluctant to park their bicycles in public places.
Parking bicycles inside residential buildings caused inconvenience and aesthetic disturbance and formed a negative perception of cycling among residents. This resulted in a high demand among cyclists for institutional measures to prevent bicycle theft and penalize perpetrators.
Public service providers responded that the indifference to neighbors and weakening of social trust increased bicycle theft, even though a bicycle registration system was operating in the community. Information provision related to proper and safe cycling was highlighted. Participants with children contended that education was needed on how to ride a bicycle safely in accordance with related rules and regulations.
All participants, except those who have learned to cycle through public services, learned how to ride in childhood from family members, and often lacked information on traffic rules and related safety regulations. Cyclists had a high demand for information on bicycle maintenance Figure 3 C , cycling-related traffic regulations, and available bicycle-related services.
Cyclists mentioned the low utilization of public services related to cycling, because of a lack of public relations. However, service providers thought there was sufficient publicity regarding cycling-related services.
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