Walk score® versus residents’ perceptions of walkability in omaha, ne

Bradley Bereitschaft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


With an easily accessible online interface, Walk Score® has emerged as one of the most popular metrics to assess walkability, both within and outside academia. Based primarily on accessibility to common daily amenities, this quantitative measure is limited to a macro-scale view of urban form that does not consider micro-scale design elements that can significantly impact walking behavior such as building setbacks, sidewalk characteristics, lighting, or traffic volume. This study employed a survey and cognitive mapping exercise to identify neighborhood typologies in which Walk Score and residents’ perceptions of walkability are most likely to align, and, more crucially, where they are most likely to be at odds. Relative to residents’ perceptions, Walk Score tended to overestimate the walkability of suburban strip-mall corridors and underestimate the walkability of recreational areas and small entertainment districts. Potential differences in residents’ perceptions of walkability, and their associations with Walk Score, were also explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-435
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Urbanism
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2018


  • Built environment
  • Cognitive map
  • Mental map
  • Perceptions
  • Walk Score
  • Walkability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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