Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Walking Audit. What is it and Why...

The whole idea around this project is essentially about recognizing how our built environment affects our safety and the health of our community and the environment. WHY this is important--and really, why YOUR involvement makes the world better through this service is that once we can realize what factors are influencing this perception of walkability, we can use that knowledge to document the environment, and identify and propose solutions.

We can do the process of recognizing, documenting, and identifying barriers AND assets to walking in an areas through a walking audit.

A walking audit is a structured discussion about conditions in an area using points along a designated walking route.

Walking audits can...
...increase general walkability of the neighborhood,
encourage a shift in behavior to alternative transportation modes,
build community,
increase community health and access to physical activity, or
support the creation of a realistic action plan.

We'll use digital media and short audio files with a program called Yodio to document the walking route. You will also get to choose your best Yodio piece to submit for a contest. At the end, we put together the official walking audit report with the Yodios to compliment it. The report is the real powerful part--it states the observations made and recommendations, as well as visions of how the neighborhood could be more walkable. Defining priority recommendations is where we can focus our advocacy efforts to carry out the solutions.

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