Theses Master's

Walking Towards Recovery: Exploring the Relationship between Walkability and Post-COVID-19 Recovery in New York City

Wang, Shuyu

This thesis aims to investigate the role of walkability in aiding the post-COVID-19 recovery of New York City. It explores whether walkability - the ease of walking around in urban areas - can facilitate public health, economy, and mobility recovery. The research focuses on quantifying the relationship between walkability and recovery metrics like case rate, land value, storefront occupancy, and bus ridership, examining key design and planning factors in successful examples, and suggesting improvements to enhance long-term resilience and sustainability in post-pandemic urban settings.

The methodology combines quantitative data analysis, including spatial statistics, OLS regression, and propensity score matching, with qualitative insights from site visits. The analysis employs a range of statistical techniques to control for confounding factors, offering a macro-level view of urban dynamics. Complementarily, observations from selected site visits across diverse neighborhoods provide micro-level insights, highlighting how urban planning and urban design affect walkability and recovery.

Primary data sources include the EPA Smart Location Database, American Community Survey, DHMH coronavirus data, MapPLUTO, Storefront Records, and MTA Bus Ridership. By exploring the role of walkability in post-pandemic urban recovery, the thesis provides actionable insights for policymakers and urban planners to create a vibrant, healthy, and sustainable city in the post-pandemic era.

Geographic Areas


This item is currently under embargo. It will be available starting 2026-06-01.

More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Stiles, Jonathan E.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
May 29, 2024