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Walkability in Baka (Jerusalem) enjoys a big boost thanks to CIVITAS SUNRISE

Author: Richard Adams
Posted on: Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 11:43
Jerusalem

After a year-and-a-half of mobility interventions in the CIVITAS SUNRISE neighbourhood in Jerusalem (Israel), positive results are becoming apparent.  

The results, which come from comparing the first round of a survey done in autumn 2017 with a second round completed in spring 2019, showed that walking has (in general) significantly increased in Baka.

By analysing the results of both questionnaires, it seems that the hard co-creation work done in the past months is paying off! Adults and children recognise the benefits of walkability, with walking becoming a viable option for going to work and to school and a leisure activity in the neighbourhood.  

When it comes to going to work, the amount of people of people travelling sustainably has increased: walking has risen to from 22% to 30% and public transport from 17% to 24%. For residents, walking increased from 61% to 66%, meaning that people living and working in Baka are walking to work, instead of using other means of transport such as the car. 

The measures have also had a positive impact on children, one of the project’s main target groups. Walking to school increased from 55% to 75%, while walking accompanied by adult increased from 7% to 50%. This last result shows the potential of initiatives like the walk-to-school programme; local SUNRISE partners promoted this in collaboration with the local police and volunteers.

The surveys also showed that the use of public space for social gatherings went from 39% to 47%. This was of the objectives of some interventions in the neighbourhood, such as the conversational bench and the Gad Rivka intervention. Respondents are also walking more to meet friends and in advance of starting other leisure activities - this grew from 32% to 44%. 

The surveys also reflected residents’ willingness to learn more about walkability and to contribute to shaping the local strategy, whilst identifying barriers to walkability, such as accessibility and poorly maintained pavements. People also indicated the lack of bicycle paths as a mobility issue. These insights will guide future mobility interventions in Baka. 

Furthermore, the survey’s second round included a question on residents’ awareness of SUNRISE interventions in the neighbourhood. It showed that 42% of respondents were familiar with the conversational bench; 58% knew about the corner upgrade in Gad-Rivka; 36% were aware of the green path; and 34% had heard of the walk to school programme. However, only 14% of participants indicated to be familiar with the Thursday-Friday walking, which is part of the educational program. 

Overall, the results revealed the enormous potential of the SUNRISE methodology to transform mobility in car-oriented neighbourhoods, as Baka once was. Change is happening and SUNRISE is delighted to be part of it!

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