The audit framework is the principal tool used to evaluate effective connected places. An area is audited using five key dimensions of connected places. These are the dimensions that impact on people, place, and transport connectivity. Qualitative and quantitative metrics are illustrated for each dimension with examples.
A connected place is a pedestrian-friendly environment that encourages the use of sustainable transport and is well connected and in close proximity to other connected places. These places can be mixed use, medium to high density, with fine urban grain. Importantly, a connected place allows people to connect to an efficient and well-integrated transport network with easy access to destinations. By involving users and residents in the process of place making, a connected place reinforces the community’s positive identity and a sense of ownership. Thus, people can connect and relate to the places that they occupy. Connected places reduce travel time and improve social interactions: they connect people to people. This solution-based approach is an answer to the prevalent state of car-disconnect and contributes to sustainable cities by providing a range of social and economic benefits and reducing the city’s carbon footprint.
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1 People connectivity-provided by environments that promote social interaction and community engagement, and offer a sense of place identity, community attachment, and social diversity, where people from all walks of life come into everyday contact with each other. This attribute builds social capital and empathy for others across the sociocultural spectrum.
2 Place connectivity-land use programswitha mix of activities enabling short-distance travel and ease of access to everyday neighborhood activities. This attribute brings Place A and Place B closer together.
3 Transport connectivity-low-impact modes of travel and sustainable mobility that enhance or at least do not detract from the quality and livability of places, including the origins and destinations of trips as well as places along the way. This attribute makes getting between Place A and Place B safe, efficient, and enjoyable.
In the form versus function dichotomy, place and people connectivity pertains mostly to the urban form, fostering place making and creating vibrant, livable, and aesthetically pleasing urban places. Place and transport connectivity, on the other hand, speaks mostly to urban function and primarily represents the accessibility dimension of urban places. High place and transport connectivity-bringing Place A and Place B closer together, or making it faster and easier to travel between them-translates into high access.
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