Walk Radius Map

Participatory mapping activity that demonstrates key destinations within walking distance

Activity Type : Understand
Participant Audience : Residents, Organizational Partners, Researchers

Pick a central spot within your neighbourhood and walk five minutes at your standard pace, following a common route. Mark your path on a map and note where you end up at five minutes. On your way back to the starting point, write down all the possible destinations you passed (i.e., businesses, parks, benches, schools etc). Once you return to the original spot, start over until you have exhausted all of the paths. Or, work with a team of volunteers and have peole divide up and take different paths. You can expand the activity for 10–15-minute-walk radii, if desired. Just continue walking along the route and mark where you end up within each of these travel times.

What makes this tool valuable?

Five minutes is considered the amount of time that a traveller would almost always choose walking over other modes of transportation. The Walk Radius Map gives us a picture, from our focus areas, of how many places can you get to in five minutes and how far on the established sidewalks/paths.

Images of a group of residents before setting on a walk tour, a basemap for mapping 5-minute walk radius and a mapped out 5-minute walk.
Tips & tricks
  1. Try this activity during different weather conditions to see if icy sidewalks or other weather factors limit the walk radius.
  2. You can pair this with the Empathy Walk and imagine how the walk radius might be impacted by mobility limitations.