Walkonomics founder Adam Davies shares the vision for crowdsourcing street friendliness.
Give us the 140-character elevator pitch.
What problem does it solve for government?
Local and national governments are increasingly becoming aware of citizens and businesses demand for walkable streets and areas. Walkable streets bring many benefits including increased home values, higher footfall for business, reduced CO2 emissions, healthier residents, lower levels of obesity, less crime and fewer road accidents.
Identifying, measuring and improving a streets walkability is not always easy, and it can be hard to know where to start. Unlike other walkability apps that just measure how many destinations are within walking distance, Walkonomics uses open data and crowdsourcing to rate each street for eight categories that actually affect how pedestrian-friendly a street is.
These categories include:
- Road Safety
- Fear of Crime
- Smart and Beautiful
- Fun and Relaxing
Users can add their own reviews and even suggest ideas for improvement. With more cities being launched soon, Walkonomics provides a great tool for government to analyse, engage and improve walkability in their city or region.
What’s the story behind starting Walkonomics?
Walkonomics was founded and launched as a web-app in 2011, by Adam Davies, a sustainable transport consultant based in the UK, the Android App was launched in October 2012, and the iPhone App has just launched. The idea behind Walkonomics is to harness the power of open data and crowdsourcing to rate the walkability of every street in the world. It came out of a frustration with existing walkability apps and the lack of real information about which parts of different cities are walking friendly, particularly when looking for somewhere to live or a holiday location.
What are its key features?
- Check the walkability of nearby streets and areas;
- Search by location, place name or post code;
- View search results on a map with colour-coded markers;
- Discover new walk-friendly areas and streets;
- Instantly get detailed walkability reviews and ratings of streets based on real data and people’s views;
- Add your own ratings, reviews and ideas for improvement;
- Undertake walkability audits and crowdsource local people’s ideas for improving streets.
What are the costs, pricing plans?
The Walkonomics App is free to download and use.
How can those interested connect with you?