Perceived legibility in relation to path choice of commuters in central business district (2016)


Perceived legibility in relation to path choice of commuters in central business district

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication



M.Paydar;  A. Kamani-Fard


Journal Title

Urban Design International


walking behavior; path choice criteria; central business district; perceived legibility; perceived time



Commuters are the major group of pedestrians who walk for daily transportation along the short pathways between the metro stations and their workplaces in the central business district (CBD) of Kuala Lumpur. Shorter walking times and shorter distances are significant criteria in commuter path choice; however, in the presence of multiple pathways of virtually the same length, the criteria of perceived time and perceived distance play the key role in path choice. In this regard, this study investigates perceived legibility (PL) as an alternative path choice criterion for commuters on the basis of its hypothesized correlation with perceived time. For commuters, a more legible pathway is a well-signed directional pathway, which generates a strong sense of direction toward the destinations along it. As Perceived legibility (PL) is assumed to be a positive factor for commuters’ choice of path, the main question of this research is whether the highest PL is taken into account by commuters as an important path choice criterion in the case of available alternative pathways of almost the same length. In this regard, the importance of the highest PL for commuters’ path choice was examined in comparison with other probable path choice criteria. In addition, the components of the highest PL were explored according to the perceptions of commuters. It was conducted in nine zones of the CBD of Kuala Lumpur. The zones were selected and finalized based on the design of the zone selection process. The collected data were processed using two consecutive survey questionnaires and an observational analysis. The highest PL showed moderate importance regarding commuter path choice. However, because of the significant correlation between PL and perceived time as well as sense of pleasance as two of the most important path choice criteria, highest PL or strongest sense of direction toward the destination is taken into account as one of the key factors for commuter path choice. Furthermore, factors such as the presence of buildings according to their height and façade, and commuters’ greater ability to see their destination point while walking, were found to be components of PL. Such relationships indicate the importance of these physical and visual factors for improving the path choice and walking rates of commuters in the CBD.


Corresponding Author

Mohammad Paydar,

Line (s) of Research

Entorno Construido