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This week, we’ll be looking at ways to measure livability in the city and what that means for sustainable and healthy transport options. Measuring those things can be tricky. And agreeing on what’s to be measured and how we understand the measurements is often contested. We’ll be looking at indicators that have been used in various models and research around the world in policy settings, in academic research, and in the practises of people in communities. We’ll be using some of those measures to try and understand, what is it that makes the city livable? And how might we all agree on the sorts of interventions that might be best made?
I’m often struck by the ways that new information and new ways of seeing information can really give us a good insight to the city. Traditional measures of how many people commute in different modes of transport, how much green space is in the city versus other types of surfaces, and of course newer data that’s available around how people move and interact, and how that might be measured through various forms of digital data collection. Of course, we don’t all agree on those indicators. And so we’ll be looking in our case study exercise at various checklists and models that exist that you can try and use to understand what’s going on in your city. Data sources can be explored in different ways.
And different places have different ways of collecting information and different availability of information. Finally, we’ll be reflecting on the fact that often, this is a contested area. Often, the things that we want to measure aren’t easy to measure. And proxies of measurement are used often in policy and in commercial use that don’t always tell us exactly what we want to know about the city and what needs to be changed. So in subsequent weeks, we’ll be building on it to think about the different ways we can measure and value the sorts of things that make a city livable.

This week, we’ll explore the role of indicators and data as an integral part of understanding healthy liveable cities.

In particular we’ll focus on:

  • measuring liveability and how this relates to sustainable and healthy transport options
  • issues related to how and what to measure by investigating international examples of how indicators and evidence can be used to plan healthy cities
  • the role of indicators in urban policy development, and the ways in which indicators are used to understand, monitor and report changes related to policy objectives over time
  • a number of tools and frameworks that can be used to generate evidence to influence policy related to transport and health in cities.
  • Your mobility case study

    You’ll also have the opportunity to work on your mobility case study. This week, you will start exploring what data is available in your chosen locality and how to apply the Healthy Urban and Planning Transport Checklist to your case study.

    Remember to take notes in your Google Doc or Word Doc as you go.

    Image by: Andreas Schalk, Creative Commons Licence on Flickr
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    Urban Mobility for Liveability

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    FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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