Computer simulation for walking accessibility to services and amenities

A Random Walk is a common concept in mathematics and computer science, which allows us to model the behaviour of large populations, based on the stochastic and unforeseeable decisions of individuals. It gives us the option to find hidden patterns and unexpected trends in our data. How can we harness the power of computer modeling for better city planning?

Fully based on open data and open code solutions, Random Walks is a computer simulation for the assessment of walking times and walking routes from each household in Tel Aviv-Jaffa to a wide variety of amenities, facilities, and land uses. This tool gives crucial insights on service accessibility to housing, commerce, healthcare, education and leisure - during both routine and lockdown.

Covid-19 has taught us the importance of compact, dense and walkable urban environments, which give city dwellers access to basic needs within a walking distance. Major cities such as Paris have already adopted the “15 Minutes City” vision, which is designed to “help access-focused urban transformations to be ambitious, inclusive, measurable and effective”.

How long does it take you to walk from your home to the nearest grocery store? Five minutes? Ten? Mabe an hour? And what about the nearest public space, the nearest school or the nearest pharmacy? 20% of all households in Kerem HaTeimanim are within less than 5 minutes’ walk from the nearest doctor's surgery, while none of the households in Schunat HaMishtalah enjoy this level of accessibility to healthcare services.

By measuring the walking distances from households to different services, we can better understand our urban environments, apply advanced data-driven methodologies and make better and well informed planning decisions for ourselves, for our children and for our planet.

The data is open, let’s explore. Would you like to go for a walk?

Jonathan Gat, Lital Bar-Noy
Jonathan Gat, Lital Bar-Noy
Location of project
IL, Tel Aviv
Month/Year of project
05 / 2021
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