Natural Experiment to Assess the Impacts of Street-Level Urban Design Interventions on Walkability and Business Activity

This study uses a natural experiment in Beirut, Lebanon, to investigate the effects of a street-level urban design intervention that improved the walking environment through a wider sidewalk, removal of a parking lane, raised junctions, and other elements. This study analyzes the impacts on pedestrian flow, pedestrian satisfaction with the walking experience, commercial activity, and business managers’ attitudes. Difference-in-difference regressions suggest that the main effect of such interventions is not necessarily an increase in pedestrian traffic, but instead safer pedestrian maneuvering and a better walking experience. It is also found through descriptive analysis that while businesses and shops experience increased business post-intervention, noticeable dissatisfaction with the intervention is reported by managers and owners. It is hypothesized that this dissatisfaction is a result of the lengthy construction process renovating and refurbishing the street, and the removal of parking spaces. Policy recommendations are drawn for the mitigation of business managers’ concerns and the enhancement of the walking environment for the design of future similar interventions.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01742371
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 10 2020 3:04PM