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The Walkability of Thessaloniki: Citizens’ Perceptions

  • Roxani Gkavra
  • Dimitrios NalmpantisEmail author
  • Evangelos Genitsaris
  • Aristotelis Naniopoulos
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 879)

Abstract

This paper aims to assess the walkability of Thessaloniki, Greece, via individuals’ perceptions about the influence of the environmental factors of functionality, safety, aesthetic, and points of interest on their pedestrian behavior. The survey’s participants were 117 men and 152 women, from 15 to 78 years old, who came from 12 municipalities of the greater Thessaloniki area. The participants responded to a questionnaire which was based on valid and reliable previous respective questionnaires and walkability audits. The questionnaire was formulated on an online Internet platform and the data were collected in October 2017. The results revealed a variability of the assessment results among the different municipalities of Thessaloniki. Since the data were analyzed on the detailed level of postal codes, many differences were also found even between different postal code areas. Almost all areas were found to be insufficient in terms of functional characteristics. The suburban areas suffer from lack of pedestrians’ facilities, while urban areas from many obstacles on the existing facilities. In contrast, the proximity of points of interest was found to be very satisfactory. Regarding the safety of the pedestrians’ environment, it was perceived as of medium level whereas it was higher in the Thessaloniki city center. The pedestrians reported dysphoria from air pollution, mostly in neighborhoods with high density and vehicle traffic. Dirty pavements, lack of greenery, and ugly buildings bother citizens while walking. The findings are discussed with respect to practical implications in urban planning and people’s quality of life.

Keywords

Walkability Thessaloniki Perception Questionnaire Audit 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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