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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Improved Usability of Pedestrian Environments After Dark for People with Vision Impairment: an Intervention Study

Mattsson, Pimkamol; Johansson, Maria; Almén, Mai; Laike, Thorbjörn; Marcheschi, Elizabeth; Ståhl, Agneta


Walking is an important transport mode for sustainable cities, but the usability of pedestrian environments for people with impaired vision is very limited after dark. This study compares the usability of a walkway, operationalized in terms of (i) the pedestrian's ability to orient themselves and detect infrastructure elements, and (ii) the perceived quality of lighting in the environment (evaluated in terms of the perceived strength quality and perceived comfort quality). The study was performed in a city in southern Sweden, along a pedestrian route where observations and structured interviews had previously been conducted and after an intervention involving installing new lighting systems with LED lights. A mixed method analysis involving participants with impaired vision (N=14) showed that the intervention generally improved the walkway's usability: observations indicated that the participants' ability to orientate themselves and detect infrastructure elements increased, and the interviews showed that the intervention increased the perceived strength quality of the lighting along the walkway. However, the effects on the perceived comfort quality were unclear. It is therefore important to carefully evaluate new lighting systems to reduce the risk of creating an inappropriate lighting design that will limit walking after dark by people with impaired vision.


urban walking; vision impairment; usability; walkway; outdoor lighting

Published in

2020, volume: 12, number: 3, article number: 1096

Authors' information

Mattsson, Pimkamol
Lund University
Johansson, Maria
Lund University
Almén, Mai
Hinderfri Design
Laike, Thorbjörn
Lund University
Ståhl, Agneta
Lund University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

UKÄ Subject classification

Applied Psychology

Publication Identifiers


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