One of the most common forms of physical activity is walking which is the mother of all the modes of transport which provides inexpensive and equal transportation options to improve residents’ health and quality of life. Due to several associated advantages such as wellbeing of residents and improving health, reducing air pollution, traffic congestion and decreasing energy consumption, walking has become an interesting topic for researchers. To have modern cities with highly efficient transportation facilities which support walking, cities and neighbourhoods are trying to promote a pedestrian-friendly environment. As a result, walkability is a sustainable concept to improve the liveability of growing cities that describes the level of capability of the built environments to support walking for multiple purposes including transport, leisure and exercise purposes. Although measurement of walkability includes several methods and approaches, this research has emphasized on the walkability index as well as neighbourhoods features that influence the willingness of people to walk. Since Rotterdam is considered a walkable city, it is valuable to investigate how this city has tackled this issue. Therefore, for better interpretation, four neighbourhoods in Rotterdam were selected to examine the level of walkability and the factors affect that. This study has several limitations and due to time and resource constraints, the sample size that was selected for the survey in each neighbourhood is limited. Therefore, the low response rate may influence the final results. The model outcomes were validated not only using the individual’s perception determined from questionnaire survey but also utilizing mixed methods of space syntax and GIS analysis in objective parameters of walkability. What makes this research unique is that all aspects of neighbourhoods such as physical, social and safety characteristics have been considered objectively and subjectively. The results of this study can assist policymakers and professionals to give more public space to walking and improve the quality of neighbourhoods’ environments. In conclusion, the overall result implies that due to defining indexes such as population density, mixed-use and connectivity for walkability, some aspects of neighbourhoods’ features were recognized significant in this study. Among all of the physical aspects variables of neighbourhoods, accessibility is the most important factors influence walkability, however, the quality of built environment significantly affect people’s perceptions as well and in social aspects of neighbourhoods, social interactions and liveliness of streets seem to be significant in walkability. Also, from safety aspects view, the most important factors were a sense of security and sense of safety that affect the walkability. The incredible outcome that was explored in this study is that the physical environment influence the social and safety aspects of neighbourhoods and social aspects influence the safety aspects of neighbourhoods. Therefore, there is an interrelationship between independent variables that can influence the willingness of people to walk. Keywords: Sustainability, walkability, walkable neighbourhoods, space syntax, GIS

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Keywords safety measures, social aspects, neighbourhoods, space syntax, GIS
Thesis Advisor Alade, T (Taslim)
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Note UMD 15
Abdollahi, S. (Sahar). (2019, September). The influence of physical, social and safety aspects on walkability in neighbourhoods of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Retrieved from