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Designing Walkability in Cities

Discover how walkability is essential for developing sustainable, healthy, and liveable cities with RMIT University.

Abstract urban scene of busy city life. The curb is filled with multicultural people crossing while carrying shopping bags. Many punters are buying presents and taking advantage of special discount offers at city retail stores. Shallow focus.

Designing Walkability in Cities

  • 2 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore the process of designing and planning walkable cities

The way we live and move about our cities directly contributes to our mental and physical health. On this two-week course, you’ll explore the process of designing and planning walkable cities that foster a thriving community life.

Through a comprehensive approach, you’ll cover not only the health and sustainability aspects of walkability but also delve into urban design, policy, and social considerations.

Immersing yourself in a 360-degree experience of walkability, you’ll learn how to craft pedestrian-friendly spaces that enhance both physical and mental well-being.

Discover how walkability contributes to community health

You’ll start by exploring what walkability really means and how this contributes to the health of a population.

Unpacking the design elements that promote walkability, you’ll gain the tools to address urban challenges, such as obesity and traffic congestion.

Explore city and urban planning

Next, you’ll unpack the strategies for evaluating the quality of the walking environment, such as surface, accessibility, signage, and wayfinding.

You’ll then discover how planning plays a key role in improving areas as you start to gain an understanding of planning policies.

Learn from the experts at RMIT University and EIT Urban Mobility

Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by industry specialists at RMIT University and EIT Urban Mobility. With their expertise, you’ll gain the practical skills to be able to create more pedestrian-friendly, vibrant, and sustainable urban environments.

By the end, you’ll have a deep understanding of how walkability influences urban living.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Building and planning for healthy, sustainable places is a global challenge that cities across the world are all facing today and into the future. The way we move about our cities, the modes of transport that we use is also a key factor that’s going to influence whether we are producing healthy and sustainable places. I’m Professor Melanie Davern, and I’m from RMIT University. And with my colleague Dr. Lucy Gunn, we’re going to talk more about these very important concepts. In this course, we’re going to talk about what the concept of walkability means, why it is important to the liveable city, and the role of planning, which is really important in building both walkable and liveable places.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds You going to learn a little bit more about the location of destinations and other features of the built environment that are important for a walkable area. You’re also going to learn a little bit more about the history of city planning and how planning and measurement of walkable areas can contribute to the development of healthy and sustainable cities.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 seconds A unique offering of this course is an experiential 360 degree view of walking through the streets of Milan, where you really understand what some of the positive influences of walkability are and some of the things that can detract from walkability and how planning has a key role in improving those areas. I hope you really enjoyed this course and it gets you thinking about the livability and the walkability of your city. This is such an important concept. And I hope you really enjoy the content.


  • Week 1

    Walkability and its relationship to health

    • Why does walkability matter?

      Meet the teaching team and discover who you’ll be learning with as we start exploring the concept of walkability.

    • Walkability and its relationship with health

      Explore the physical, mental and environmental health benefits of walkable places.

    • Factors that influence walkability

      Examine key considerations when evaluating the walkability of an area.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on the key ideas covered in Week 1 and find out what's on for next week.

  • Week 2

    Walkability and city planning

    • Walkability: how do we make it happen?

      Explore approaches to urban design that support the walkability of cities.

    • Evaluating the quality of the walking environment

      Examine key features of the built environment that are important for a walkable area.

    • Walkability and urban planning

      Explore how the planning and measurement of walkable areas can contribute to the development of healthy and sustainable cities.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on the key ideas covered in Week 2.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop an understanding of the key concepts of walkability and its role in improving well-being and promoting healthy urban lifestyles
  • Explore the role of walkability in encouraging healthy urban environments
  • Evaluate the influence of urban planning in enhancing walkability
  • Assess the significance of infrastructure quality in fostering walkability

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for urban planners, community leaders, and individuals passionate about enhancing our urban landscapes.

It will also be beneficial for architects, developers, students, and policymakers who are interested in creating pedestrian-friendly environments and promoting sustainable, healthy communities.

Who will you learn with?

I am passionate about translating research about health and liveable cities into policy and practice. My objective is to make research accessible, available and applicable to practice.

Dr Lucy Gunn is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Urban Research at RMIT University with 20 years of experience in research and teaching in the fields of econometrics and urban research.

Who developed the course?

RMIT University

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) is a global university, with over 80,000 students, specialising in technology, design and enterprise.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 210Source: QS World University Rankings 2022

EIT Urban Mobility

EIT Urban Mobility is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Since January 2019 we have been working to encourage positive changes in the way people move around cities in order to make them more liveable places. We aim to become the largest European initiative transforming urban mobility. Co-funding of up to € 400 million (2020-2026) from the EIT, a body of the European Union, will help make this happen.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 27 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
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Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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