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Assessing the Quality of Walkability in Al-Ain City (Term Paper Sample)


To Assess the Quality of Walkability in Al-Ain City


Assessing the Quality of Walkability in Al-Ain City
Fall 2020-370 Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
United Arab Emirates University
Table of Contents
 TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u  HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338214" Abstract  PAGEREF _Toc58338214 \h 2
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338215" Introduction  PAGEREF _Toc58338215 \h 4
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338216" Urban Design Qualities  PAGEREF _Toc58338216 \h 4
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338217" Walkability Elements in Neighborhoods  PAGEREF _Toc58338217 \h 5
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338218" Research Areas  PAGEREF _Toc58338218 \h 6
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338219" Research Methods and Data  PAGEREF _Toc58338219 \h 7
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338220" Research Methodology  PAGEREF _Toc58338220 \h 7
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338221" Research Design  PAGEREF _Toc58338221 \h 7
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338222" Data Collection Method  PAGEREF _Toc58338222 \h 7
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338223" Secondary Data  PAGEREF _Toc58338223 \h 7
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338224" Primary Data  PAGEREF _Toc58338224 \h 8
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338225" i. Observation method  PAGEREF _Toc58338225 \h 8
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338226" ii. Survey  PAGEREF _Toc58338226 \h 8
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338227" Literature review  PAGEREF _Toc58338227 \h 9
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338228" Define a Walkable Community?  PAGEREF _Toc58338228 \h 9
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338229" Walkability Criteria  PAGEREF _Toc58338229 \h 9
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338230" Measuring Walkability  PAGEREF _Toc58338230 \h 11
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338231" Methodology for Evaluating Walkability  PAGEREF _Toc58338231 \h 11
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338232" Complete Streets  PAGEREF _Toc58338232 \h 12
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338233" Urban Design Features to Stimulate Walkability  PAGEREF _Toc58338233 \h 12
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338234" Walkable Neighborhood Criticism  PAGEREF _Toc58338234 \h 13
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc58338235" References  PAGEREF _Toc58338235 \h 14

Assessing the Quality of Walkability in Al-Ain City
The UAE acknowledges walkability as a significant factor for sustainable urban growth as it seeks to enhance the existing environment. The current research sought to investigate the quality of walkability in four neighborhoods in Al Ain. We leveraged criteria created using notable literature concerning walkability. The criteria was applied to understand and assess the quality of walkability in the four selected neighborhoods in Al Ain city. The first two areas were situated in the modern division of the city while the other two were positioned in the old section of the city. The overriding objective of this research was to comprehend whether particular physical traits motivate personalities to walk as informed by evidence from the four neighborhoods.
Research Methods
We performed a field observation: we selected a day and time when the temperature was low to determine the number of individuals walking for two periods during the same day each lasting 20 minutes.
We created the walkability criteria and applied it to perform a comparison between the selected neighborhoods in Al Ain to establish whether each area met walkability standards.
We utilized an online survey to collect data from individuals in the four selected neighborhoods using questions such as; do you walk? Why do you walk?
This study established that the four selected neighborhoods had a quality physical environment that promoted residents to engage in walkability. However, individuals did not walk. Perhaps, other issues compelled the individuals in these neighborhoods to engage less or rarely in walkability.
The findings of this study will aid in understanding and improving walkability in Al Ain City. Importantly, it will aid the municipality formulate prudent decisions to raise awareness among the public concerning the significance of engaging in walkability.
The current research aims to explore the nature of walkability in UAE, Al Ain city. Specifically, it seeks to investigate the quality of walkability in four neighborhoods in Al Ain city. The significance of walkability in the contemporary world can be observed through the numerous metropolises across the globe which have commenced appreciating the importance and benefits of walkability. They have improved the built environment to improve walkability and to enable their citizens to reap these benefits. A critical determinant of walkability, particularly in numerous residential areas across numerous cities globally is attractiveness, safety, increased sidewalks, and mixed-used growth.
Urban Design Qualities
The advantages of walkability are cemented in numerous studies and disciplines such as environment, economics, health, and urban planning. Jacobs (2006) notes that for a city to stimulate walkability it should have a dense blend of land application and should be created and intended for use by public.
Table  SEQ Table \* ARABIC 1: Walkability in neighborhoods benefits
EnvironmentHealth EconomicWalkability fulfills a pivotal role in promoting wellbeing and quality of life; it aids in protecting the environment through lowering carbon emissions connected with fewer car trips, less accidents, and traffic congestion and minimizes noise and air pollution (Charron, 2017).Higher walkability across the neighborhood is strongly linked with lower rates of obesity, heart problems and improves muscles and bones development, mental health, and lower the risk of suffering from cancer (Charron, 2017).Communities that actively engage in walkability support local businesses. Usually enterprises such as shops are clustered together and through walkability individuals can spend money in different neighboring enterprises. This stimulates internal economic growth, lower transportation costs, and enhances tourism (Charron, 2017).Table 1 summarizes the benefits of engaging in walkability around neighborhoods
Walkability Elements in Neighborhoods
Walkability elements are extensively discussed in literature by numerous publications. For instance, Lehman (2007) outlines five walkability elements which are discussed in table 2: mixed-use, attractiveness, accessibility, comfort, and safety.
Table  SEQ Table \* ARABIC 2: Walkability elements
ElementsDetailsAttractivenessA critical feature of walkability is that the environment should be efficient, clean, and aesthetic.Mixed-useWalkable pedestrian environment should have mixed use such as accessing schools, groceries, work-places, and homes.Accessibility All individuals should profit from the quality walkable pedestrian environment.ComfortSidewalks should be secure and designed for different uses; buildings should be close to the sidewalks or the streets.SafetyIt implies protecting pedestrians from automobiles.
In the current research, some of the walkability elements discussed above were incorporated in criteria applied in the assessing the four neighborhoods. The overriding objective is to establish an environment that is attractive, comfortable, and has a robust sense of community.
Walkability, from the perspective of urban planning, is explained as an element of compact metropolises and a factor that enhances socialization and a sense of community. Jane Jacobs (2006), a renowned urban planning writer observed the significance of the different elements of walkability in promoting the practice. For instance, she championed for the construction of windows opening into the sidewalks or streets, for wider and mixed-used sidewalks. This creates socially-intertwined and safer neighborhoods (Jacobs, 2006).
Research Areas
Al Ain city also recognized as Garden City, is the fourth biggest metropolis in the UAE and second largest city in Abu-Dhabi. It has approximately 600,000 residents, consequently being ranked the second most populated city in the UAE. The Abu-Dhabi Urban Planning Council initiated a strategic planning project recognized as the Urban Structure Framework Plan that was intended to aid Al Ain to assess and address its future and current development demands (Plan Al Ain, 2030).
The four neighborhoods drawn from Al Ain city selected for this research were: Al-Yahar, Al-Bateen, Al-Salamat, Shiaab Al-Ashkhar. As noted in this paper, two of the neighborhoods (Al-Bateen and Al-Ashkhar) were located in the modern section of the city while Al-Yahar and Al-Salamat were situated in the old part of the metropolis. These four neighborhoods were shortlisted from observation since they have a large area with mixed-use and have a high population density. In addition, having prior knowledge of these neighborhoods made it easier to conduct the survey since we had adequate information about them.
Research Methods and Data
This study utilized both primary and secondary research method. A field observation study was conducted to obtain primary data. We selected a day and time when the temperature levels were low to compute the number of personalities who walked for 20 minutes twice in the same day. In addition, we performed a field observation to determine the number of individuals who were walking within the sampled neighborhoods. The findings helped us determine whether the selected neighborhoods were walkable or to determine whether they were any other factors beside the quality of the environment that affected walkability. Regarding secondary data, an online survey was conducted featuring questions such as: do you walk? Why do you walk? The criteria discussed in Ta...

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