The creation and replication of walkability indices uses geographic information systems (GIS) and warrants exploration of assumptions made implicit by different research disciplines. Most methods of measuring walkability variables – residential density, street connectivity, and land-use mix – lack contextual rationale for inclusion in walkability indices. Furthermore, walkability indices used in contemporary literature themselves are in conflict not only with each other, but also with human spatial behavior. This thesis first compares three walkability indices to make explicit the various ontologies that result as a consequence of choices and calculation of walkability variables. The second article then explores ontological distinctions between connectivity measures and their subsequent effects on methodology and interpretation. Given non-linear patterns of human mobility in activity spaces, this last part explores granular scales of connectivity measures that can better represent the built environment.
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