Designing healthy communities: Testing the walkability model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research from multiple domains has provided insights into how neighborhood design can be improved to have a more favorable effect on physical activity, a concept known as walkability. The relevant research findings/hypotheses have been integrated into a Walkability Framework, which organizes the design elements into nine walkability categories. The purpose of this study was to test whether this conceptual framework can be used as a model to measure the interactions between the built environment and physical activity. We explored correlations between the walkability categories and physical activity reported through a survey of residents of Tucson, Arizona (n=486). The results include significant correlations between the walkability categories and physical activity as well as between the walkability categories and the two motivations for walking (recreation and transportation). To our knowledge, this is the first study that reports links between walkability and walking for recreation. Additionally, the use of the Walkability Framework allowed us to identify the walkability categories most strongly correlated with the two motivations for walking. The results of this study support the use of the Walkability Framework as a model to measure the built environment in relation to its ability to promote physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers of Architectural Research
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Built environment
  • LEED-ND
  • Neighborhood design
  • Physical activity
  • Walkability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Archaeology
  • Urban Studies

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