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The "5 Cs" - criteria for measuring walkability

Tim Pharoah came up with the 5 Cs as encompassing the main criteria that need to be reviewed in determining the quality of the walking environment, or "walkability" of a street or area.

The 5Cs are:

This classification has found its way into numerous publications and is now widely known, including outside the UK. It was developed initially in research carried out for the (then) London Planning Advisory Committee, which led to the first pedestrian strategy for London in 1996.
The work was undertaken by Tim Pharoah and Keith Buchan (of consultancy MTRU).

In retrospect, there is one component missing from the 5Cs, and that is a criterion that covers safety, although it might be hard to imagine a walking environment that satisfies the 5Cs but which is or is perceived as unsafe.

Some of the many documents that recommend or apply the 5Cs:

"Putting London Back on its Feet: a strategy for walking in London", London planning Advisory Committee, 1997

"Encouraging Walking: Advice to Local Authorities", Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (UK Government), 2000

"Going to Town: Improving town centre access", A companion guide to PPG6, Llewelyn-Davies for DETR and National Retail Planning Forum, 2002.

"Making London a Walkable City. The Walking Plan for London", Mayor of London, February 2004

"Improving walkability:Good practice guidance on improving pedestrian conditions as part of development opportunities", Transport for London, September 2005

"Rural Streets and Lanes: a Design Handbook", The Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 2009

"Maribyrnong Walking Strategy", Maribyrnong City Council,  2010 (Melbourne, Australia)

and, the 5Cs are now also applied to cycling facilities, for example:

"Women on a Roll: Benchmarking women's bicycling in
the United States and five keys to get more women on wheels"
, the League of American Bicyclists, Carolyn Szczepanski, August 2013

"Lawrence-Allen Cycling and Walking Study",  City of Toronto (Canada) 2009

"Shaping Neighbourhoods: For Local Health and Global Sustainability / Edition 2", Hugh Barton, Marcus Grant, Richard Guis, Taylor & Francis, 2010.

"Active planning Toolkit 2", Gloucestershire NHS, 2014

"Manual for Gloucestershire Streets", July 2020


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