Walkability as an Urban Design Problem

UDM Libraries / IDS Digital Repository


Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Danko, Aaron
dc.date.accessioned 2020-09-09T17:52:22Z
dc.date.available 2020-09-09T17:52:22Z
dc.date.issued 2020-09-09
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10429/2048
dc.description As the automobile emerged in American society, the creation of walkable neighborhoods were unfortunately neglected in the United States by city planners, especially in Detroit. As walkability is beginning to resurface as a major priority for urban designers, it has become a challenge to undo what has already been done in regards to the planning of cities and neighborhoods. The continuous development of walkable communities has however begun to catch on, as more and more people are embracing pedestrian mobility as an alternative to former planning practices that had favored the automobile. Walkability aims to understand the ways in which the characteristics of the built environment lead to the creation of healthy cities that are thriving economically, sustainably, and socially. In a city like Detroit, which lacks several of the traditional assets of walkability, such as density and public transit, achieving pedestrian friendly neighborhoods requires a more innovative approach. For the purpose of this thesis, that innovative approach is done by defining walkability as the subjective analysis of pedestrian-friendly urban environments. Through a subjective lens, personal perception begins to play a large role in the understanding of the way people view the urban environment they are walking in. Through an urban design approach, this thesis strives to reintroduce walkability to neighborhoods across the city of Detroit. To understand each neighborhood through a unique lens, an intense subjective analysis process focused on Sound, Smell, Speed, and Scale was conducted. This analysis detailed how the individual neighborhoods function in ways that go beyond what would be understood in the typical urban analysis process. Through conducting this analysis, a deeper understanding of each neighborhood allowed for the design proposals created to begin to leverage walkability in a more effective and unique way. This process, or framework, has paved the way for an innovative approach of designing for walkability in cities such as Detroit. Overall, this framework begins to help to create neighborhood plans that will allow Detroiters to take full advantage of the social, economical, and health benefits of pedestrian-friendly urban environments. en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis challenges the generalized way in which walkability is being framed and implemented in Detroit. Most people in American cities, especially in Detroit, are unable to take advantage of the social, economical, and health benefits that walkability provides due to how non-conductive our cities are to pedestrians. As current planning methods continue to challenge this, walkability has become essential in the revitalization of the cities of today, and the future. Through urban design, this thesis aimed to create a strategic framework plan that would begin to reintroduce walkability to under-served neighborhoods in Detroit. These design strategies are focused on allowing the residents of Detroit’s neighborhoods to take full advantage of the social, economical, and health benefits that are present in walkable communities. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject urbanism en_US
dc.subject urban analysis en_US
dc.subject community design en_US
dc.subject Detroit en_US
dc.subject walkability en_US
dc.subject pedestrian experience en_US
dc.subject subjective analysis en_US
dc.title Walkability as an Urban Design Problem en_US
dc.title.alternative A specific focus on the reintroduction of walkability in Detroit en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search DSpace

Advanced Search


My Account