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This page gives in-depth technical explanations of the indicators used in the View City Measurements and Measure Inclusive Transit tools. These explanations can help you understand what is being measured, how the results are calculated, and why the indicators are meaningful for babies, toddlers, and their caregivers walking in cities.

City Indicators

View City Measurements calculates five indicators for cities around the world. We describe these methods both to provide technical context and to help others improve on our work.

The five city indicators can be measured for any given urban geography using any relevant source or sources of reliable data. For Pedestrians First, we used OpenStreetMap, OpenMobilityData, and the European Commission’s Global Human Settlement Layer. To define the geographical extents of cities, we used the European Commission’s Urban Centre Database.

These indicators focus on the friendliness of cities to babies, toddlers, and their caregivers. For the indicators that are measured in terms of the percentage of the population, we had hoped to be able to offer additional information on the percentage of young children within the relevant areas. Unfortunately, there is no global dataset that provides population information disaggregated by age.

The data-processing scripts we used to calculate these indicators from the raw data are available at our GitHub.

We hope other researchers will adapt these indicators in new, useful ways. However, we encourage them to maintain the conceptual basis of the indicators and to report results that enable side-by-side comparison with Pedestrians First.

1 and 2: People Near Services / People Near Transit
3: Block Size
4: Weighted Population Density
5: Car-Free Places
Correlation with Sustainable Transport Mode Share

Measure Inclusive Transit Indicators

These are the four indicators that are made interactive in the Measure Inclusive Transit tool. Each indicator measures some aspect of the inclusiveness of a city’s public transit system.

A city’s public transit system includes all fixed-route transportation modes open to all members of the public. It does not include taxis or ride-hailing, even when shared or pooled. It does not include company-organized commuter services that are only open to employees of a particular company, nor does it include hotel or airport shuttles or any other mode that is not open to the general public. It does include fixed-route transit using taxicab vehicles, like Russian marshrutka lines, and it does include informal transportation, like Kenyan matatu transit modes, even when unrecognized or unregulated.

Each of the following indicators also includes its own definition of relevant terms.


Each of the four indicators follows a similar method. We provide this description of the method for technical context and to help others improve on our work.

1. Identify transit modes:

Divide the city’s transit fleet into a number of distinct modes. Generally, each transit mode is a conceptual unit, and each mode has a single fare policy and a single type of vehicle (though possibly with some variation in exact vehicle models). For example, a city might have five modes: an informal minibus network, a formal city bus network, a bus rapid transit system, and two distinct commuter rail modes.

2. For each transit mode:

    a. Assess per-vehicle capacity:

    Estimate the transit mode’s average vehicle passenger capacity. “Passenger capacity” refers to the number of people who can comfortably sit and stand in the vehicle. ITDP will provide estimates for some vehicle types. If ITDP does not provide an estimate for a particular vehicle type, use manufacturer specifications. If the manufacturer does not provide specifications, test capacity in the field by counting the number of people on a vehicle of that type during peak commuting hours.

    b. Assess total mode capacity:

    Estimate the transit mode’s total number of vehicles. Ideally, use numbers provided by the government, local researchers, or other local experts.

    c. Measure each indicator:

    Follow the directions for each indicator listed below, calculating a number from 0% to 100%.

3. Calculate citywide indicator values:

For each indicator and for each transit mode, multiply the indicator percentage by the total mode capacity. Take the sum of those numbers for all modes and divide it by the total capacity of all modes to find the overall citywide transit fleet indicator value.

1: Percent Soot-Free Transit
2: Percent Barrier-Free Transit
3: Percent Affordable Transit
4: Percent Caregiver-Inclusive Fare Policy

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