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Measuring liveability and mobility

© RMIT Europe and EIT Urban Mobility

Measuring the role of transport and mobility in making healthy cities is challenging.

Measuring mobility

What to measure and how to understand the impacts of mobility policy need to be situated within the social determinants of health as described in the WHO report and within the UN Sustainable Development Goals, (especially health and wellbeing, sustainable cities and sustainable transport).

Integrated approach to measuring mobility

Measuring liveability and mobility, and the pathways to understanding success in implementing them, relies on integrating various forms of data derived from a range of sources conducted over time.

Checklists have been developed to assist this process. The Healthy Urban and Transport Planning Checklist outlines 10 principles for designing healthy cities:

  • Land-use mix
  • Street connectivity
  • Density
  • Motorised transport reductions
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Public transport
  • Multi-modality
  • Green and public open space
  • Integration of all planning principles

These principles aim to reduce the burden of disease and death associated with urban and transport design, and are geared towards creating healthy, liveable, desirable, equitable, sustainable and climate change-resilient cities.

Challenges with measures

The range of indicators and measures used in research is wide. They are often derived from multiple sources and lack a uniformed approach. This can result in:

  • difficulties in replicating across cities (due to data availability and the local context)
  • many stakeholders needed (government, business, community organisations and individuals)
  • complications with determining the indicators (some are widely available, others require community consultation to determine the values, objectives and likely impacts of change).

The role of indicators in public policy and infrastructure decisions is crucial. However, these can be used to influence decision-making in many ways and this will vary in different cities, suggesting that local context matters in deciding what and how to measure.

Your Task

In relation to your neighbourhood, consider an active transport that you would like to measure, and for what reason?

Consider an adjacent neighbourhood and think about what active transport you would like to measure. Is it different? Why is this?

Share your thoughts on what you have chosen and why in the comment section.

© RMIT Europe and EIT Urban Mobility
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City Liveability: The Intersections of Place, Mobility, and Health

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