Examining the association between the built environment and pedestrian volume using street view images

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number103734
Journal / PublicationCities
Online published11 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


Many studies have confirmed that the characteristics of the built environment affect individual walking behaviors. However, scant attention has been paid to population-level walking behaviors, such as pedestrian volume, because of the difficulty of collecting such data. We propose a new approach to extract citywide pedestrian volume using readily available street view images and machine learning technique. This innovative method has superior efficiency and geographic reach. In addition, we explore the associations between the extracted pedestrian volume and both macro- and micro-scale built environment characteristics. The results show that micro-scale characteristics, such as the street-level greenery, open sky, and sidewalk, are positively associated with pedestrian volume. Macro-scale characteristics, operationalized using the 5Ds framework including density, diversity, design, destination accessibility, and distance to transit, are also associated with pedestrian volume. Hence, to stimulate population-level walking behaviors, policymakers and urban planners should focus on the built environment intervetions at both the micro and macroscale.

Research Area(s)

  • Built environment, Machine learning, Pedestrian volume, Population-level walking behaviors, Street view images, Streetscape features