A framework to evaluate the accessibility, visibility, and intelligibility of green-blue spaces (GBSs) related to pedestrian movement

Pingyu Fan, Kwok Pan Chun*, Ana Mijic, Mou Leong Tan, Minsi Liu, Omer Yetemen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The planning of green-blue spaces (GBSs) requires considering the pedestrian needs in their walking routes for improving the walking experience. Incorporating the quantitative spatial characteristics of pedestrian movement is essential for pedestrian-friendly urban planning, which however received insufficient attention. Based on the space syntax theory, this study provided three indicators – accessibility, visibility, and intelligibility – to demonstrate the needs of physical access, visual access, and spatial cognition, respectively, in pedestrian movement. Measuring these three indicators, this study exemplified the planning of pedestrian-friendly GBSs using Guangzhou, China as a case study. Spatial design network analysis was used to quantify heterogeneous values of accessibility, visibility, and intelligibility of each GBS throughout the city. Moreover, we used principal component analysis to identify the leading indicators based on their weightings and then to calculate the scores to compare these three aspects of GBSs. The measurements of accessibility, visibility, and intelligibility of each GBS were then averaged across urban administrative districts for evaluating city-scale GBSs. The findings showed that GBSs in central districts were most accessible and visible but least intelligible. In contrast, the overall intelligibility of GBSs throughout the city was the greatest but the visibility was the least. Furthermore, intelligibility, as a more important factor than accessibility and visibility, should be particularly emphasized in future planning of pedestrian-friendly GBSs. Pedestrians from the central districts of Guangzhou city were most satisfied with the walking experience, in terms of accessing to, viewing, and cognizing the GBSs. ‘Yuexiu’, ‘Huadu’, and ‘Nansha’ districts were found as the key places where improved accessibility, visibility, and intelligibility were particularly needed to improve the GBS pedestrian-friendliness throughout the city. In summary, this study not only demonstrated a human-scale GBS evaluation framework for improving the human walking experience but also provided empirical evidence for building pedestrian-friendly green-blue spaces at the city scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127494
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Forestry
  • Soil Science
  • Ecology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Accessibility
  • Visibility
  • Intelligibility
  • Space syntax
  • Green-blue spaces


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