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

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Author Info

  • Giles-Corti, Billie
  • Bull, Fiona
  • Knuiman, Matthew
  • McCormack, Gavin
  • Van Niel, Kimberly
  • Timperio, Anna
  • Christian, Hayley
  • Foster, Sarah
  • Divitini, Mark
  • Middleton, Nick
  • Boruff, Bryan
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    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.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 77 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 20-30

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:77:y:2013:i:c:p:20-30

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    Related research

    Keywords: Australia; Social determinants; Natural experiment; Built environment; Walking; Quasi experimental; Longitudinal; Physical environment;

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    Cited by:
    1. Foster, Sarah & Wood, Lisa & Christian, Hayley & Knuiman, Matthew & Giles-Corti, Billie, 2013. "Planning safer suburbs: Do changes in the built environment influence residents' perceptions of crime risk?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 87-94.
    2. Michael, Yvonne L. & Nagel, Corey L. & Gold, Rachel & Hillier, Teresa A., 2014. "Does change in the neighborhood environment prevent obesity in older women?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 129-137.
    3. Goodman, Anna & Panter, Jenna & Sharp, Stephen J. & Ogilvie, David, 2013. "Effectiveness and equity impacts of town-wide cycling initiatives in England: A longitudinal, controlled natural experimental study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 228-237.

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