Close this search box.


The Impact of University Campus Design on Students’ Walkability: A Case Study

SPACE International Journal of Space Studies in Architecture and Urban Design
Volume: 3
Issue: 1
Zakaria Khabbazeh
Architecture Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia
Omar S. Asfour
Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Construction and Building Materials, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia
Received January 12, 2022 – Accepted February 15, 2022 – Published December 30, 2022 – Available online December 20, 2022

Walking is an essential human activity that improves people’s mental and physical well-being. It is vital to encourage this activity in our daily lives, including places of work and study. This includes universities, which help shape students’ lifestyles. This study aims to investigate the impact of university campus design on students’ walkability. The study discussed the design aspects that encourage students to walk and the obstacles that repel them from walking. The study achieved this aim by conducting a case study analysis in Saudi Arabia using direct observation and a questionnaire. The study summarised ten design aspects that could be used to assess and improve walkability at university campuses. The study concluded that having a pathway system that encourages walkability is essential in university campus design. However, this could be enhanced using street furniture, elements of visual interest, and lighting elements along pedestrian pathways.

campus design, hot climate, sustainability, walkability
Restricted Content This article is restricted. You can purchase access to the individual article or access all articles using a membership with a subscription.

Individual with Journal Subscription

£450.00 per Year.


Access to conference registration
Access to Journal subscription

Free - Student with Journal Subscription

£380.00 per Year.


Access to conference registration. Proof of student eligibility required.
Access to Journal subscription.

Free-Individual with Journal subscription.

£410.00 per Year.


Discounts on conference registrations, SPACE shop and e-journals. Access to members only areas on the website.
Access to Journal subscription.

Student with Journal subscription.

£400.00 per Year.


Student priced discounts on conference registrations, SPACE shop and e-journals. Access to members only areas on the website. Proof of student eligibility required.
Access to Journal subscription.



The author would like to thank King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia, for funding this study.

Conflict of Interests

The author declares no potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.


This paper has been presented at the  SPACE  International  Conference  2022 on  Sustainable Architecture, Planning and Urban Design and selected to be published in this Journal.


Abdullah, W. S. (2020). Optimizing social sustainability in walkable university campus: A comparison between the old and new campuses of Sulaimani University. Revista Amazonia Investiga, 9(34), 44–56.

Bowler D. E., Buyung-Ali L., Knight T. M., and Pullin A. S. (2010) Urban greening to cool towns and cities: a systematic review of the empirical evidence. Landscape and Urban Planning, 97(3),147–155.

Boodlal, L. (2004). Accessible sidewalks and street crossings — an informational guide. US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Washington DC.

Dober, R. P. (2000). Campus landscape: Functions, forms, features. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Ford, A. M. (2013). Walkability of campus communities surrounding Wright State University. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.

Friedman, A. (2021). Fundamentals of sustainable urban design. Springer Nature Switzerland.

Horacek, T. M., White, A. A., Greene, G. W., Reznar, M. M., Quick, V. M., Morrell, J. S., Colby, S. M., Kattelmann, K. K., Herrick, M. S., Shelnutt, K. P., Mathews, A., Phillips, B. W., and Byrd-Bredbenner, C. (2012). Sneakers and spokes: An assessment of the walkability and bikeability of U.S. postsecondary institutions. Journal of Environmental Health, 74(7):8-15.

Keat, L. K., Yaacob, N., and Hashim, N. R. (2016). Campus walkability in Malaysian public universities: A case-study of Universiti Malaya. Planning Malaysia Journal, 14(5), 101-114.

Khudhayer, W. A., Shaaban, A. K., and Abdul Sukor, N. S. (2019). Optimization of the shading efficiency in the urban spaces in hot arid climate regions. Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 13(2), 444–458.

Llinares, C., Higuera-Trujillo, J. L., Montañana, A., and Castilla, N. (2020). Improving the pedestrian’s perceptions of safety on street crossings. Psychological and neurophysiological effects of traffic lanes, artificial lighting, and vegetation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(22), 8576.

Makki, S., Surat, M., Che-Ani, A., Farkisch, H., and Mokhtarian, H. (2012). The Importance of design characteristics in walking from student’s perspective: A case study in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Journal of Building Performance, 3(1), 42-49.

Nassar, U. (2021). Humanizing Taibah University campus open spaces in Madinah: Toward a sustainable environment for walkability and green spaces. Journal of Sustainability Science and Management, 16(3), 235–256.

Radwan, A. H., and Morsy, A. A. G. (2016). The importance of integrating street furniture in the visual image of the city. Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER), 9(2), 1-33.

Southworth, M. (2005). Designing the walkable city. Journal of Urban Planning and Development, 131(4), 246–257.

Salama, A. (2008). When good design intentions do not meet users’ expectations: Exploring Qatar University campus outdoor spaces. Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 2(2), 57–60.

Yücel, G. F. (2013). Street furniture and amenities: Designing the user-oriented urban landscape. Advances in Landscape Architecture, Murat Özyavuz, IntechOpen,

Zhang, X., and Mu, L. (2019). The perceived importance and objective measurement of walkability in the built environment rating. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 47(9), 1655–1671.

Web References

[1] ArchDaily (2022). Shade structures for outdoor spaces. Available online at: (Accessed 5 Jan. 2022).

[2] KFUPM, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (2014). KFUPM Map.  (Accessed 23 Mar. 2021)

Sign in to continue

Not a member yet? Sign up now