Study on the walkability of old city streets in Beijing from the perspective of application of Central Axis for World Heritage List
The year 2023 is a key year for Beijing’s Central Axis to apply for World Heritage List. As the social space of urban culture, the streets are the communication space between modern-day residents and living heritage. In the blocks applying for World Heritage status, the walkability of the streets has an important impact on the presentation of the scene, cultural exchange, and tourist guidance. Based on the perspective of Central Axis application for World Heritage List, this study attempted to provide updated planning suggestions for the improvement of street walkability quality. Focusing on the human scale, first, 13 objective indicators and three subjective indicators of the streets in the buffer zone were evaluated by semantic segmentation, virtual audit, Likert scale, and other methods, as well as by acquiring the latest street view. Pearson’s correlation analysis was used to explore the main factors affecting the walkability of the streets. The results show that 13 objective indicators such as street interface, street facilities and street style in space show a trend of gradual decline from the central axis to both sides. Buildings on the north side of Chang’an Avenue in Beijing’s Old Town better preserve the architectural style of the traditional hutong. The factors that were strongly related to the sense of security were the proportion of fences and the width of the street. The strongest correlation factor concerning comfort is the street aspect ratio, whereas the most important factor related to aesthetic perception is the degree of preservation of traditional features. Finally, the paper puts forward some new strategies, such as clearly distinguishing street pedestrian and vehicular functions, controlling green visual ratio to adjust street visual aspect ratio, and protecting traditional street pattern.
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