Space and Its Use for Pedestrian Traffic in Center Areas of Selected Polish Cities
The quality of urban space in terms of walkability can be assessed taking many parameters into account, such as the presence of sidewalks, their density and continuity, appropriate technical parameters as well as the presence of greenery, squares, parks, which create the environment for pedestrian traffic. The lack of travel barriers, the possibility to shorten the route, travel safety and security, the presence of street furniture, shops and services are also significant. This article concerns some of the above described factors and presents selected research results on the use of space in city centers of several Polish cities - Kraków, Gdańsk, Szczecin, Warsaw, Gdynia, Wrocław and Poznań as well as the results of an analysis on the friendliness of this space for pedestrian traffic. The first phase of this study was to determine the share of public space within the analyzed city center areas, and then define areas used as roads, infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, squares, green areas, parks and public courtyards. The balance of the used space was created for each researched area, and the space dedicated to pedestrian traffic was additionally analyzed in terms of the presence of obstacles as well as sidewalk location. The analysis results prove that that greatest amount of the public space is located in the city center of Poznań, and the smallest in Kraków. Warsaw is characterized by the greatest and Szczecin by the smallest percentage of the pedestrian infrastructure. Szczecin dominates in terms of the share of roads in the downtown area, Wrocław in terms of squares and Gdańsk - public courtyards.(original abstract)
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