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Creating cycling-friendly environments for children: which micro-scale factors are most important? An experimental study using manipulated photographs

Ghekiere, Ariane, Deforche, Benedicte, Mertens, Lieze, De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse, Clarys, Peter, de Geus, Bas, Cardon, Greet, Nasar, Jack, Salmon, Jo and Van Cauwenberg, Jelle 2015, Creating cycling-friendly environments for children: which micro-scale factors are most important? An experimental study using manipulated photographs, PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 12, Article Number : e0143302, pp. 1-18, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143302.

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Title Creating cycling-friendly environments for children: which micro-scale factors are most important? An experimental study using manipulated photographs
Author(s) Ghekiere, Ariane
Deforche, Benedicte
Mertens, Lieze
De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse
Clarys, Peter
de Geus, Bas
Cardon, Greet
Nasar, Jack
Salmon, JoORCID iD for Salmon, Jo orcid.org/0000-0002-4734-6354
Van Cauwenberg, Jelle
Journal name PLoS One
Volume number 10
Issue number 12
Season Article Number : e0143302
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1932-6203
Summary BACKGROUND: Increasing participation in transportation cycling represents a useful strategy for increasing children's physical activity levels. Knowledge on how to design environments to encourage adoption and maintenance of transportation cycling is limited and relies mainly on observational studies. The current study experimentally investigates the relative importance of micro-scale environmental factors for children's transportation cycling, as these micro-scale factors are easier to change within an existing neighborhood compared to macro-scale environmental factors (i.e. connectivity, land-use mix, …). METHODS: Researchers recruited children and their parents (n = 1232) via 45 randomly selected schools across Flanders and completed an online questionnaire which consisted of 1) demographic questions; and 2) a choice-based conjoint (CBC) task. During this task, participants chose between two photographs which we had experimentally manipulated in seven micro-scale environmental factors: type of cycle path; evenness of cycle path; traffic speed; traffic density; presence of speed bumps; environmental maintenance; and vegetation. Participants indicated which route they preferred to (let their child) cycle along. To find the relative importance of these micro-scale environmental factors, we conducted Hierarchical Bayes analyses. RESULTS: Type of cycle path emerged as the most important factor by far among both children and their parents, followed by traffic density and maintenance, and evenness of the cycle path among children. Among parents, speed limits and maintenance emerged as second most important, followed by evenness of the cycle path, and traffic density. CONCLUSION: Findings indicate that improvements in micro-scale environmental factors might be effective for increasing children's transportation cycling, since they increase the perceived supportiveness of the physical environment for transportation cycling. Investments in creating a clearly designated space for the young cyclist, separated from motorized traffic, appears to be the most effective way to increase perceived supportiveness. Future research should confirm our laboratory findings with experimental on-site research.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0143302
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920405 Environmental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30080147

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.