Improving Walking Conditions for Pedestrians by Combining “People as Sensors” data with Data from Existing Approaches



The project Walk&Feel conducts a study with 60 test persons in three different areas. The test persons will wear smartbands that measures physiological characteristics like blood pressure volume, skin temperature and galvanic skin response. Additionally the test persons use an ediary smartphone application, where they can enter their current feelings and emotions. All measured data is connected with the current location of the user. The combination with spatial data of the environment makes it possible to validate and to interpret the physiological data.

Conducting the field test in Seestadt, Vienna


There are already many approaches for assessing the walkability of urban space. Some of them try to compute walkability indices by using objective parameters from remote sensing or spatial properties like width of sidewalks or greenness. These results can be difficult to validate. Other approaches focus on subjective information from surveys or observations. Here often the challenge arises that individual perceptions are varying a lot and are consequently hard to interpret. Walk&Feel enhances these existing approaches by using sensors like smartbands in order to gain physiological data of humans. This makes it possible to validate existing methods and develop new methods for assessing walkability of urban space.

Participant walking through study area


Walk&Feel further develops existing methods and technologies for acquiring physiological data of humans. The project will additionally help to improve methods for combining, validating, analyzing and visualizing the captured data. Additionally and most importantly, the project will find relations between physiological reactions and the triggering factors in the urban space. This will ultimately make it possible to assess walkability. In order to make the research results usable and understandable, Walk&Feel will deliver guidelines and recommendations for applying the developed methods in different areas.

Key Publications
Kounadi, O., Resch, B. (2017) A Geoprivacy by Design Guideline for Research Campaigns that use Participatory Sensing Data. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, DOI:10.1177/1556264618759877.
Project Partners