January 20, 2016
Denver, CO – For the past two years, MURP students in Ken Schroeppel’s Planning Methods course have performed on-site audits of Denver’s pedestrian infrastructure using WALKscope, a mobile public engagement tool. In 2015, WALKscope made Planetizen’s Top 10 Websites list, representing the best planning, design, and development websites out there. Developed by WalkDenver and PlaceMatters to track sidewalk, intersection, and pedestrian data, WALKscope aggregates information in a color-coded map, allowing users to quickly and easily identify gaps in pedestrian infrastructure. In their summary, Planetizen highlights WALKscope as a “rare example of crowd-sourced public engagement that actually works…” noting that, “unlike many platforms with similar goals, WALKscope is well-trod” with thousands of sidewalk and intersection quality reports and pedestrian counts. The Planetizen article doesn’t mention it, but much of this data was collected and populated by MURP students! WALKscope has been an integral component of the Planning Methods class projects, allowing students to hone their data collection, analysis, and communication skills. In keeping with MURP’s emphasis on being an urban laboratory, this is just another example of classroom learning with real-world benefits.
For more information on how MURP students are using WALKscope, check out the article MURP Students Conduct Walkability Assessments for WalkDenver, which includes links to project examples from Fall 2014.