Exploring the viability of walk-sharing in outdoor urban spaces

Debjit Bhowmick, Stephan Winter, Mark Stevenson, Peter Vortisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Pedestrians, while walking alone, feel unsafe and vulnerable in certain outdoor spaces at certain times of the day. This fear of victimisation often leads pedestrians to avail costlier alternatives, such as taking viable detours or abandoning walking altogether and switching to alternative forms of transport. This fear reduces the appeal of walking, the most basic transport mode, and one that is essential for preserving our physical and mental health. In this study, we introduce walk-sharing, a hypothetical buddy-service, which is aimed at encouraging people to choose walking when it is viable, and not pursue alternative modes. In walk-sharing, a potential pedestrian will get matched to another so that they are able to walk together, instead of walking alone, and thus overcome any potential fear that arises out of seemingly unsafe walking environments. To understand whether walk-sharing can be beneficial for the community, this study will outline its core concepts and explore its viability under different plausible scenarios. We use agent-based modelling techniques under synthetic and realistic scenarios to understand the conditions in which walk-sharing will produce acceptable outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101635
Number of pages15
JournalComputers Environment and Urban Systems
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Agent-based modelling
  • Pedestrian
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Safety perception
  • Walk-sharing

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