Walk21’s new Walkability.App went live on 4th November in Dublin, giving citizens the opportunity to report on their walking experiences, with particular attention on women’s access to the Luas (tram) Line in the City centre.
The Alstom Foundation has kindly supported Walk21 with the ‘Every Step of the Way’ project, in response to concerns that women are choosing to walk less and use private vehicles more in the City, as highlighted in the report commissioned by Transport Infrastructure Ireland ‘Travelling in a Woman’s Shoes’. The Government are keen to ensure Dublin is a safe, inclusive and welcoming place for women to travel and it is hoped that the App will provide a simple way to both know what their concerns are and locate where they can be resolved.
Walkability expert, Dr Lorraine D’Arcy, who teaches sustainable transport planning at TU Dublin, has been advising on the development of the app, which was also been informed by the learnings of the prototype ‘STRIDE tool‘ (supported by GIZ and first used in Lagos, Nigeria in 2018 – resulting in a new sidewalk being built to benefit thousands of school children and hospital visitors on Lagos Island); and the analogue ‘lollipop tool’ (supported by Alstom Foundation and FundaPeaton to help children in Medellin, Colombia – resulting in a transformation of their neighbourhood and reducing road crashes by 22% in the first 6 months).
The technical build of the Walkability App, which is free for any citizen to use, has been co-ordinated by Stefan Steiniger, a sustainable urban mobility expert from CEDEUS in Chile, supported by designer Luis Molina and and coders Monse Fernandez Martinez and Paula Nieto. They have been helped along the way by walkability experts from 21 countries who have kindly been trialing the app and giving feedback on its applicability internationally. Special thanks to Carlos Canas Sanz (Spain), Lucia Brisudova (Czech Republic), Richard Vinc (Indonesia), Monica Olyslagers (IRAP), Zhuangyuan Fan (China), Maja Rynning (Norway), Patricia Mariano (The Philippines) and Paschalin Basil (Kenya).
Next step for the ‘Every Step of the Way’ Dublin project will be coordinating the data collection by engaging, we hope, at least 500 women to share their opinions on local walkability in the project area. (Thanks Lidia and Tristan for helping us get started yesterday in College Green, Dublin). The technical team is also busy building the desk-top site so that the data can be visualised and analysed in the new year.
The Walkability.App is available in the App Store for Android phones and will soon be in the IOS for Apple phones too. Get in touch if you have any feedback on the app, to help us continue to improve it, or if would like to give citizens the opportunity to report on their neighbourhood walkability so that investment decisions return the best measurable benefits.