Date of Award

4-2012

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning and Development (CPD)

Department

Community Planning and Development

First Advisor

Jack D. Kattez, Ph.D.

Keywords

East Bayside Neighborhood - Portland - Maine, pedestrian accessibility

Abstract

This project demonstrates how a GIS-based analysis of pedestrian accessibility to selected amenities from locations in and around the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland, Maine can help identify and guide decisions about public investment in improving such access. Two street network configurations are analyzed: the current (2011) condition, and a hypothetical configuration including several connectivity improvements currently under discussion or in the process of construction. The GIS tools are used to calculate the network distances between the centroid of the area’s census blocks and two amenities: the nearest full-service grocery store, and an outdoor fitness station available to the public. The ratio between the network and Euclidian distances is used to calculate a Walking Permeability Distance Index, the WPDI (Allan, 2001). In addition, the difference in the network distance to the amenities between each network configuration for each census block was calculated and then used in analysis of the spatial distribution of revised access from the connectivity improvements. A new index was also developed, given the name here of Connectivity Improvement Benefit Index (CIBI), which factors in distance saved, total population, and estimated walking speeds, optionally normalized for distance. This alternate index technique has implications for use by communities in prioritizing scarce resources for investment in connectivity improvements to benefit the maximum desired segment or amount of their population. The East Bayside example serves especially as an example for any community seeking to reconnect urban street grids severed during the U.S. Urban Renewal period o f the 1950s - 1970s.

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