Chanam Lee and Anne Vernez Moudon
Walking is a popular recreational activity and a feasible travel mode. Associations exist between walking and the built environment, but knowledge is lacking about specific environmental conditions associated with different purposes of walking.
This cross-sectional study used a survey of 438 adults and objective environmental measures. Multinomial logit models estimated the odds of walking for recreation or transportation purposes.
Utilitarian destinations were positively associated with transportation walking, but recreational destinations were not associated with any walking. Residential density was correlated with both purposes of walking, and sidewalks with recreation walking only. Hills were positively associated with recreation walking and negatively with transportation walking.
Physical environment contributed significantly to explain the probability of walking. However, different attributes of environment were related to transportation versus recreation walking, suggesting the need for multiple and targeted interventions to effectively support walking.
M. Katherine Kraft, James F. Sallis, Anne Vernez Moudon and Leslie S. Linton
Anne Vernez Moudon, Chanam Lee, Allen D. Cheadle, Cheza Garvin, Donna Johnson, Thomas L. Schmid, Robert D. Weathers and Lin Lin
The concept of walkable neighborhoods is increasingly important in physical activity research and intervention. However, limited theoretical understanding and measurable definitions remain a challenge.
This paper reviews theories defining neighborhoods and offers an empirical approach to identify measurable attributes and thresholds of walkable neighborhoods. Bivariate and multivariate analyses are used for self-reported socio-demographic background, neighborhood walking behavior and perception, and objective measures of environments.
Environmental attributes positively associated with walking sufficiently to meet health recommendations included higher residential density and smaller street-blocks around home, and shorter distances to food and daily retail facilities from home. Threshold distances for eating/drinking establishments and grocery stores were 860 and 1445 feet.
Results questioned theoretical constructs of neighborhoods centered on recreation and educational uses. They pointed to finer mixes of uses than those characterizing suburban neighborhoods, and small spatial units of analysis and intervention to capture and promote neighborhood walkability.