步行的潜力是巨大的，它可能不是最快的，也可能不是最舒适的，但它是唯一一种不需要借助任何交通工具的移动方式。多走路能够减少我们在通勤时对环境产生的影响。因此，创造更多步行的空间有助于释放更多城市场地，以应对社会和环境方面的诸多挑战。然而奇怪的是，当下的公共空间设计往往忽略了行人的存在。针对这一问题，Felixx景观规划公司与STIPO顾问公司的城市心理学家Sander van der Ham进行了一次以设计为主导的研究，深入地观察了步行的潜在益处，并为如何在建筑环境中实现这些益处制定出具体的设计任务。
Walking has great potential. It may not be the fastest, and as some may say not the most comfortable way to get around, but it is the only type of movement which doesn’t require a vehicle. By walking more, we limit the influence of our movements on the environment. As a result, creating room for walking frees up space in the city, which can be used to tackle diverse social and environmental challenges. Oddly enough, the pedestrian is often forgotten in the design of our public spaces. This research by design is developed in close collaboration with urban psychologist Sander van der Ham – STIPO. It provides insight into the potential benefits of walking, and identifies the design tasks within our built environment to realize these benefits.
▼步行的潜力，The potential of walking ©Felixx
Walking as a choice
▼内心选择 & 宜人的城市环境 ©Felixx
Mental decision making & walkable urban environment
Walking is a choice, although we often do not make that choice very consciously. In order to create environments that encourage people to walk more, we need to understand how we can influence people’s choice to do so. The choice of walking is influenced by many factors. Everything we experience in the course of our lives is stored in our brain as information. We roughly have two methods or “systems” to interpret this information, and make choices based on it. System 1 makes unconscious, emotional, fast, automatic, and effortless decisions. Choices are based on rules of thumb that originate from previously acquired knowledge, experiences or emotions. They undergo little to no critical reflection. System 2 is rational and requires conscious reflection and costs a lot of energy. It allows informed choices to be made, and questions the rules of thumb of system 1. To boost walking, we need to address both systems in our way of designing cities.
Computer illustration of the brains neural network represented by lines and dots
The Journey approach
Space for walking is often designed according to the same “mechanical” logic as that of roadways. The experience en route is secondary to reaching the destination as quickly as possible. This constantly confirms the prejudices of system 1 in our brain: you are faster by car or by bicycle. Reconnecting society with walking, after years of applying generic rules of car environments, starts by applying human-oriented measures to our streets and public space. Walkable spaces based on enhancement of comfort, proximity, and rewarding can bring humanized street designs that subconsciously tempt us to choose to walk.
▼人性化的街道吸引人们做出步行选择， humanized street designs subconsciously tempt us to choose to walk ©Felixx
Walking as a catalyst for different agendas
By placing walking in a broader context, we can make better informed conscious decisions. By critically reflecting on our current rules of thumb and habits, walking can become a more obvious choice over time. We can achieve this by linking the act of walking to the contribution it makes to social and environmental agendas. This makes the choice for walking more than a mere choice of mobility. It becomes a conscious choice for less air pollution and a cleaner and healthier world. By associating walking with different challenges and objectives, we create arguments that can encourage us to walk and transcend the practical consideration of going somewhere by foot. The more diverse the links, the wider the audience that will feel compelled to walk.
▼步行的动因，Walking as agenda catalyst ©Felixx
The walkable city
The 20th century was without a doubt the century of the automobile. Mass production of cars had revolutionized mobility and represented a milestone in the democratization of transport. The pursuit of speed and individual freedom has led to a spatial layout which follows the logic of the car. This legacy is still visible in our urban environment today. Cities are still largely organized to get from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The research proposes a method to transform an infrastructure network into a functional experiential landscape. A walkable city where the journey is as important as the destination, recognizes local streets, green-blue networks, neighborhood services and amenities, schools, urban plazas, and public transport stations as the structural elements for a walking operational journey, rather than limiting the walking realm to sidewalks parallel to car infrastructure.
▼让步行成为实现议程目标的动因，Walking as a catalyst for different agendas ©Felixx
In a timeframe of changing mobility, walking can act as a catalyst to realize various governmental agendas. Strategies for, for example, climate adaptation, emission reduction, safety, densification and population growth can be linked in the space that is freed up by the increase of walking. But this link also comes with a requirement in return. The experience of the city must entice residents and visitors to walk. In this city human scale is normative, physical activity is stimulated and space for social interaction is created. A walkable city shares a design brief with that of a sustainable and healthy city.
▼各项城市策略通过增加步行所释放出的空间而联系起来，governmental agendas can be linked in the space that is freed up by the increase of walking ©Felixx
Rotterdam as a test case
▼鹿特丹城市地图，Rotterdam as a showcase ©Felixx
To investigate the feasibility of the walkable city, the research takes Rotterdam as a testcase. The city is an interesting study area because of the dominant role the car has played in the design of the city. After the bombing of the city center, the “Basic Plan for the Reconstruction of Rotterdam” was developed. The devastated area was swept clean, creating the opportunity to build a completely new street pattern according to modernist principles. Living and working areas were separated, and space was created for the “traffic of the future”. Four test locations were selected, to test the transformation from a car-oriented layout, to a walkable city.
▼测试地点1：鹿特丹Nieuwe Westen城区，Case 1 Urban renewal districts – Nieuwe Westen ©Felixx
▼测试地点2：战后城区Ommoord，Case 2 Post-war neighborhoods – Ommoord ©Felixx
▼测试地点3：Hoogvliet住宅区，Case 3 Residential district – Hoogvliet ©Felixx
▼测试地点4：Spaanse polder商业区，Case 4 Business park – Spaanse polder ©Felixx
Location: The Netherlands
Client: College van Rijksadviseurs – Mike Emmerik, Daan Zandbelt
Year: 2019 – 2020
Type: Research by design
Team and Partners:
Michiel van Driessche
Eduardo Marin Salinas,
Elan Redekop van der Meulen
Cherk Ga Leung
Sander van der Ham: Stipo