IAPI (Assessing Inclusive Accessibility by Proximity)

IAPI is a GIS-based quantitative methodology for assessing accessibility, through active mobility, to a basket of daily, essential services at the district and city levels.

IAPI measures accessibility by considering how the technical performances and perceived qualities of the neighbourhood’s paths and public spaces can influence active mobility for pedestrians, people with reduced mobility, and cyclists.

By using open data – mainly from OSM – integrated with crowdsourced information collected via citizen direct involvement, IAPI is designed to maximize scalability, transferability, and the level of customization for context-sensitive applications.

The roadmap (fig.1) describes the steps for implementing IAPI and the possible in-depth analysis developed through participatory techniques that can support a place-based evaluation of local needs and policy issues at stake in each

Fig.1 Roadmap for IAPI implementation. The steps involving public participation are highlighted in yellow.

The tool, tested in several European cities, could be used to evaluate differences in access considering the needs and abilities of different active mobility profiles (pedestrians, impaired pedestrians, cyclists) to a basket of selected services. The main aim of the tool is to support and orient policy measures for accessibility improvement (i.e., street experiments, paths re-design).

The implementation of IAPI produces two main outcomes. The first is a walkability assessment providing insights into the less walkable areas of the city, namely the most promising areas for implementing new street experiments (fig.2). The assessment considers citizens’ preferences regarding walkability factors collected through participatory techniques

Fig.2 Walkability assessment in Bologna (left: pedestrians, right: impaired pedestrians)

The second main outcome is the assessment of accessibility levels to a basket of selected services based on walkability and cyclability conditions emerging from outcome 1 to evaluate how a city performs as a “15-minute city” (fig.3). The assessment considers the relevance of local daily services based on the stated preferences of citizens collected through participatory techniques.

Fig.3 Accessibility assessment in Bologna

Thanks to its functionalities, IAPI can be used for different policy-related purposes.  Among the various uses tested so far, three stand out. The first concerns the definition of priority areas to develop new school streets in the city of Bologna. Starting from a set of potential locations defined by local authorities, IAPI was calculated within the proximity sphere of each school to assess the walkability levels of the local street network. Information regarding public perceptions about street safety and comfort collected through a city-wide survey administered by the municipality of Bologna were used to build two additional IAPI indicators based on crowdsourced data allowing a more context-sensitive assessment. Next, a single walkability value was calculated for each catchment area (5-minute isochrone from each school by foot) to understand which catchment areas may benefit most from street redesign interventions in poorly walkable surroundings around schools (fig.4).

Fig.4 Catchment areas in Bologna by potential for improvement

In the same context of Bologna, a second application was performed through IAPI aimed at assessing the impact of a realized school street (via Procaccini) on the accessibility levels to local services. Considering that the street experiment in via Procaccini concerns the implementation of a playground in a space that was previously used as car parking, the calculation of IAPI evaluates how the introduction of a new playground may generate a positive outcome in terms of availability and accessibility to this type of function at the neighbourhood scale (fig.5)

Fig.5 Improvement in local accessibility following the implementation of Procaccini street experiment

The third application concerns the city of Mykolaiv, a Ukrainian city under bombing by the Russian army. Here, IAPI has been calculated for depicting the pre-conflict scenario about walkability conditions, the distribution and access to local essential services. Through this analysis a framework was set for understanding how to build back better by drafting different scenarios (fig.6) involving the (re)distribution of services, the redesign of street and public spaces, the selective urban densification toward a walkable and sustainable post-car city.

Fig.6 Scenario matrix in Mykolaiv

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