A walkable city is one where residents opt to travel mostly by foot, bicycle or public transportation. These locations are known for improving the well being of its inhabitants, but a number of cities in Thailand need a lot of improvement before they reach this status. Several groups hope to change this in the coming years, reports local media.
The Urban Design and Development Centre recently created the GoodWalk project where the walkability of roads in Bangkok were ranked to inform people of the benefits of walking. The walkability of a street is determined by looking at several factors including safety, convenience, and the availability of activities in the area. The group also hopes that more people can be convinced to use their cars less in places with high scores.
“The score shows the potential of areas and roads. If they are properly managed, they will attract people to walk in these places, Cycling and walking contribute to our health. They can reduce the risk of obesity by 10 per cent and help lessen pollution,” says Pornsan Vichienpradit, Deputy Director of the Urban Design and Development Centre, to the Bangkok Post.
Bang Rak has the highest ranking on GoodWalk’s list of districts and Pathumwan was ranked 2nd. Ratchawong Road was the top street in terms of walkability. The Urban Design and Development Centre calculated scores for 963 roads in Bangkok as part of the project. The project is not without hurdles with the high temperatures and pollution in the Thai capital forcing more people to drive.
Another group, the Khon Kaen Think Tank, believes that walkability can be helped by improving public transportation. The organisation already operates buses in Khon Kaen as it look to convince residents to travel without using their car. The group estimates that fewer people now use cars in the city and will keep working on expanding service.
”We have no authority to control the pollution caused by cars but we can try and make public transport more effective in order to attract more people to use it. Once the system achieves its fullest connectivity, it will be better,” says Kungwan Laovirojjanakul, Co-Founder of the Khon Kaen Think Tank.
Feature Image via www.wired.com
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