Habitat III - Urban Future
  • Tuesday 18
  • Live Laboratory: Exploring Urban Accessibility

    Urban Future
    Venue: Urban Future
    Lead Organization:
    WRI México (CTS EMBARQ México)
    Partner organizations:
    CTS Embarq; World Bank (WB); World Resources Institute.

    Most urban transport projects focus on improving the ability of citizens to move freely within a city. Typically, that has been measured by the share of the population living within, say, 0.5 kilometer of a transit stop, the maximum travel distance per unit of time, or the amount of transportation infrastructure in a city. Using such “proximity” measures to monitor urban mobility has led to congested highway networks and public transit systems that have failed to bring jobs and services within the practical reach of residents— especially the poor. Proximity-based measures represent indirect attempts to capture the real objective of a transit system, which is making opportunities accessible to the residents of a city. New technologies and richer databases now make accessibility—the number of jobs, health facilities, schools, and other essential services that are available without a car in, say, 30–75 minutes—a practical criterion for judging the state of mobility and for designing ways to improve it. This accessibility criterion will be critical for achieving SDG 11, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

    An open-source software platform for measur­ing accessibility, the Open Trip Planner Analyst (OTPA), which leverages a powerful routing engine and transit network data in open standardized format (GTFS) to model block-level accessibility will be demoed during the event. Multiple computers will be running the tool and showcasing the analysis performed on a number of cities globally.
    The demo will provide participants with hands-on training on available technologies to support decision making and planning of accessible urban areas, while increasing awareness of the importance of good transport and land use policies coordination and relations.