The influence of urban design on neighbourhood walking following residential relocation: Longitudinal results from the RESIDE study

Giles-Corti, B, Bull, F, Knuiman, M, McCormack, G, Van Niel, K, Timperio, A, Christian, H, Foster, S, Divtini, M, Middleton, N and Boruff, B 2013, 'The influence of urban design on neighbourhood walking following residential relocation: Longitudinal results from the RESIDE study', Social Science and Medicine, vol. 77, no. 1, pp. 20-30.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The influence of urban design on neighbourhood walking following residential relocation: Longitudinal results from the RESIDE study
Author(s) Giles-Corti, B
Bull, F
Knuiman, M
McCormack, G
Van Niel, K
Timperio, A
Christian, H
Foster, S
Divtini, M
Middleton, N
Boruff, B
Year 2013
Journal name Social Science and Medicine
Volume number 77
Issue number 1
Start page 20
End page 30
Total pages 11
Publisher Pergamon Press
Abstract The design of urban environments has the potential to enhance the health and well-being of residents by impacting social determinants of health including access to public transport, green space and local amenities. Commencing in 2003, RESIDE is a longitudinal natural experiment examining the impact of urban planning on active living in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. Participants building homes in new housing developments were surveyed before relocation (n = 1813; 34·6% recruitment rate); and approximately 12 months later (n = 1437). Changes in perceived and objective neighbourhood characteristics associated with walking following relocation were examined, adjusted for changes in demographic, intrapersonal, interpersonal and baseline reasons for residential location choice. Self-reported walking was measured using the Neighbourhood Physical Activity Questionnaire. Following relocation, transport-related walking declined overall (p < 0.001) and recreational walking increased (p < 0.001): access to transport- and recreational destinations changed in similar directions. However, in those with increased access to destinations, transport-related walking increased by 5.8 min/week for each type of transport-related destination that increased (p = 0.045); and recreational walking by 17.6 min/week for each type of recreational destination that increased (p = 0.070). The association between the built environment and recreational walking was partially mediated by changes in perceived neighbourhood attractiveness: when changes in ‘enjoyment’ and ‘attitude’ towards local walking were removed from the multivariate model, recreational walking returned to 20.1 min/week (p = 0.040) for each type of recreational destination that increased. This study provides longitudinal evidence that both transport and recreational-walking behaviours respond to changes in the availability and diversity of local transport- and recreational destinations, and demonstrates the potential of local infrastructure to support health-enhancing behaviours. As neighbourhoods evolve, longer-term follow-up is required to fully capture changes that occur, and the impact on residents. The potential for using policies, incentives and infrastructure levies to enable the early introduction of recreational and transport-related facilities into new housing developments warrants further investigation.
Subject Epidemiology
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Australia
Built environment
Natural experiment
Physical environment
Quasi experimental
Social determinants
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.10.016
Copyright notice © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0277-9536
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