Improving Walkability to Schools: A GIS Approach with Reference to the Gaza Strip

  •  Omar Asfour    


Planning for walkability is a main component of sustainable urban planning. Good planning for walkability improves community wellbeing, and offers more energy savings in transportation sector. This paper investigates this issue with reference to the school buildings located in Gaza city, Palestine. The potential to improve walkability to schools has been investigated through a review of the factors that encourage students to walk to their schools. More focus is given to walking distance as a main factor, which has been examined using GIS. This aims to analyse the current distribution of school buildings and whether or not it is adequate to enhance students’ walkability. The study found that students’ walking environment in Gaza requires substantial improvement including the proper planning and upgrading of sidewalks and footpaths. Several urban areas within the city are not served by schools considering a maximum walking distance of 600 m. This means that those areas should be given a priority in the urban plans concerning new schools construction.

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