Walkability - 237 'Vital and Viable' Factors

As part of our series on vital and viable high streets, the High Streets Task Force is presenting 'evidence on a page' summaries of over 200 factors that influence the success of high streets. Here we address walkability; how friendly the built environment (e.g., a city or down to the street level) is to walk, that is, the degree to which pedestrians can walk comfortably.

Date added 17 August 2021
Last updated 17 August 2021

A walkable city is a more liveable city, where people want to spend time, settle down, and invest. Walkability also translates into footfall, and city centres that are visited by many are more successful in terms of their economic performance (Litman, 2003). Walkability, however, is not only about the economic health of the town centre or the high street, but also about the public health of the catchment population. Walking has direct health benefits as it improves physical health and mental wellbeing. Indirectly, a walkable city reduces the use of private vehicles and contributes to clean and healthy air (Frank, et al. 2006). A healthy catchment population too translates into productivity and economic prosperity (Litman, 2003).

Walkability is one of 237 factors that have been identified as influencing the vitality and viability of the high street.

For more information and further reading, download the pdf 'evidence on a page'. The page contains information about this factors place within the 237 factors identified and: whether it is a component factor of one of 25 'vital and viable' priorities; how the factor scores in terms of influence, place management control, and priority.

To read more about vital and viable high streets, see www.highstreetstaskforce.org.uk/frameworks/25-vital-and-viable-priorities/