Objectively assessing "Walkability" of local communities: using GIS to identify the relevant environmental attributes.

Leslie, Eva, Cerin, Ester, du Toit, Lorinne, Owen, Neville and Bauman, Adrian 2007, Objectively assessing "Walkability" of local communities: using GIS to identify the relevant environmental attributes.. In Lai, Poh C. and Mak, Ann S.H. (ed), GIS for health and the environment, Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp.90-104.

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Title Objectively assessing "Walkability" of local communities: using GIS to identify the relevant environmental attributes.
Author(s) Leslie, Eva
Cerin, Ester
du Toit, Lorinne
Owen, Neville
Bauman, Adrian
Title of book GIS for health and the environment
Editor(s) Lai, Poh C.
Mak, Ann S.H.
Publication date 2007
Chapter number 7
Total chapters 21
Start page 90
End page 104
Total pages 15
Publisher Springer
Place of Publication Berlin, Germany
Keyword(s) GIS
Community walkability
Walking for transport
Environment and public health
Summary Geographic Information Systems (GIS) may be used to measure objectively, those features of the built environment that may influence walking. Public health research on environmental determinants of physical activity in adults shows that different factors can influence walking for recreation, compared to walking for transport. Most studies have used perceived (self-report) rather than objective measures of potentially relevant environmental attributes. We describe how a previously-developed index of ‘walkability’ was operationalized in an Australian context, using available spatial data.               Attributes believed to be of relevance to walking for transport, that are measurable using GIS, are: Dwelling density (higher-density neighborhoods support greater retail and service variety, resulting in shorter, walkable distances between facilities; driving and parking are more difficult and time consuming). Connectivity (higher intersection densities provide people with a greater variety of potential routes, easier access to major roads where public transport is available and shorter times to get to destinations). Land use mix (the more varied the land use mix and built form, then the more conducive it is to walk to various destinations). Net retail area (there are more options for destinations where goods and services may be purchased and more local employment opportunities that can be reached by walking). The associations of these attributes with walking behaviors can be  examined separately, or in combination. Such GIS data are very helpful in fundamental studies of the environmental determinants of behavior, and also in applied policy research for cities, regions or local communities, to
address public health and environmental issues.
ISBN 3540713174
Language eng
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2007, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30006853

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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