Exploring Walkability: a Spatial Analysis of Vibrancy in New Holly, a New Urbanist Community in south Seattle, WA
Nautsch, Annegret Helene
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Walkability is a notion that crosses multiple fields of study including planning, real estate, and public health. Social cohesion and community ideals are equated to walkable areas. For this thesis, walkability is defined as a two-part phenomenon: accessibility and vibrancy. This thesis focuses primarily on the vibrancy half of this definition. Vibrancy refers to the intangibles of walkability, mainly the social assets associated with walkability. Walkability is a key part of the New Urbanism design movement, which aims create to livable and walkable communities. Across the United States, many redevelopment plans have used New Urbanist design guidelines to revitalize distressed public housing. To examine the vibrancy part of walkability, observations and behavioral mapping were completed in New Holly, a mixed-income housing site in south Seattle. This data was then analyzed using a four-part vibrancy framework developed through a thorough literature review. With this vibrancy analysis, New Holly is given a relative vibrancy rating. Specific barriers to vibrancy, common to all four vibrancy factors, are identified. Finally, possible interventions are discussed and further research opportunities are recognized.
- Urban planning