Identifying appropriate land-use mix measures for use in a national walkability index


  • Suzanne Mavoa Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  • Serryn Eagleson Faculty of Architecture, Building, and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  • Hannah M Badland Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Lucy Gunn Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Claire Boulange Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Joshua Stewart Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport, and Resources, Victoria, Australia
  • Billie Giles-Corti Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia



land use, walkability, walking, built environment, GIS


Walkability indices can guide planning and policy for more sustainable and liveble cities. Land-use mix is an important component of walkability that can be measured in a number of ways. Many land-use mix measures require fine-scaled land-use data that are not always available, especially when analyzing walkability across larger geographic extents. This study investigated the feasibility of calculating a national walkability index in Australia, using metropolitan Melbourne as a case study. The study focused on the dual challenges of selecting an appropriate measure of land-use mix and identifying an appropriate land-use data source. We calculated an entropy land-use mix measure with three different Australian land-use datasets. Our comparison of the resulting land-use mix measures highlighted the differences in the land-use datasets and led to our conclusion that none of the three land-use datasets was appropriate for use in a national land-use mix measure. Therefore, we also developed two new exploratory “intensity” measures of land use — daily living and local living — that were able to be calculated nationally with readily available data. Modelled associations with transport walking and comparisons with the entropy land-use mix measures indicate that these new measures were appropriate for assessing national land use in a national walkability index.


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How to Cite

Mavoa, S., Eagleson, S., Badland, H. M., Gunn, L., Boulange, C., Stewart, J., & Giles-Corti, B. (2018). Identifying appropriate land-use mix measures for use in a national walkability index. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 11(1).