Pedestrian Walk-ability

Modeling of the walk-ability of downtown Houston


City of Houston /

Page Southerland Page

Houston, Texas

 The City of Houston needed to better understand the connectivity of government buildings for pedestrians. Many of the city government departments located in downtown Houston require frequent collaboration with other departments located nearby, and many of the city employees have expressed concern about walking between departments. Formidable barriers separate main government buildings, including the I-45 interstate corridor and the many on and off ramps.

In order to improve the connectivity of downtown Houston, the City needed to better understand the main areas that create challenges for pedestrians Tessellations set out to model the sidewalks, crosswalks, and overhead and underground tunnels to represent as accurately as possible the walkability and connectivity of downtown Houston.

Services Provided:


Field Data Collection

Network Data Analysis

Results Verification




  • Digitized all city tunnels, pedestrian walkways, and street intersections.
  • Built a multimodal network dataset with streets, tunnels, and pedestrian walkways, incorporating pedestrian barriers such as the interstate highways and traffic ramps and other dangerous crossings.
  • Identified access locations to the tunnel systems from the streets, and incorporated them into the network model.
  • Researched walking speeds and wait times at traffic crossings, and refined the model with these ground-truthed numbers.
  • Leveraged ArcGIS Pro to run Network Analysis tools and generate production quality Maps to display the results of the analysis.


Notable Accomplishments

The walkability model developed with the parameters of downtown Houston provided a baseline view of the true connectivity of the government departments.

The City of Houston can use the model and the resulting maps to better plan for future growth and development.