Neighborhood Walkability and Active Travel (Walking and Cycling) in New York City
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Urban planners have suggested that built environment characteristics can support active travel (walking and cycling) and reduce sedentary behavior. This study assessed whether engagement in active travel is associated with neighborhood walkability measured for zip codes in New York City. Data were analyzed on engagement in active travel and the frequency of walking or biking ten blocks or more in the past month, from 8,064 respondents to the New York City 2003 Community Health Survey (CHS). A neighborhood walkability scale that measures: residential, intersection, and subway stop density; land use mix; and the ratio of retail building floor area to retail land area was calculated for each zip code. Data were analyzed using zero-inflated negative binomial regression incorporating survey sample weights and adjusting for respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics. Overall, 44 % of respondents reported no episodes of active travel and among those who reported any episode, the mean number was 43.2 episodes per month. Comparing the 75th to the 25th percentile of zip code walkability, the odds ratio for reporting zero episodes of active travel was 0.71 (95 % CI 0.61, 0.83) and the exponentiated beta coefficient for the count of episodes of active travel was 1.13 (95 % CI 1.06, 1.21). Associations between lower walkability and reporting zero episodes of active travel were significantly stronger for non-Hispanic Whites as compared to non-Hispanic Blacks and to Hispanics and for those living in higher income zip codes. The results suggest that neighborhood walkability is associated with higher engagement in active travel.
- Oja P, Vuori I, Paronen O. Daily walking and cycling to work: their utility as health-enhancing physical activity. Patient Educ Couns. 1998; 33(supplement 1): S87–S94. CrossRef
- Pucher J, Buehler R, Bassett DR, et al. Walking and cycling to health: a comparative analysis of city, state, and international data. Am J Public Health. 2010; 100(10): 1986–1992. CrossRef
- Sattelmair JR, Kurth T, Buring JE, Lee IM. Physical activity and risk of stroke in women. Stroke. 2010; 41(6): 1243–1250. CrossRef
- Wen LM, Rissel C. Inverse associations between cycling to work, public transport, and overweight and obesity: findings from a population based study in Australia. Prev Med. 2008; 46(1): 29–32. CrossRef
- Lindstrom M. Means of transportation to work and overweight and obesity: a population-based study in southern Sweden. Prev Med. 2008; 46(1): 22–28. CrossRef
- Committee NPAPC. 2010.National Physical Activity Plan. http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/transportation.htm. Accessed 2 Sept 2010.
- Badland H, Schofield G. Transport, urban design, and physical activity: an evidence-based update. Transp Res Part D: Transp Environ. 2005; 10(3): 177–196. CrossRef
- Lee C, Moudon AV. Physical activity and environment research in the health field: implications for urban and transportation planning practice and research. J Plan Lit. 2004; 19(2): 147–181. CrossRef
- Humpel N, Owen N, Leslie E. Environmental factors associated with adults’ participation in physical activity—a review. Am J Prev Med. 2002; 22(3): 188–199. CrossRef
- Ewing R, Cervero R. Travel and the built environment: a meta analysis. J Am Plan Assoc. 2010; 76(3): 1–30. CrossRef
- Fitzhugh EC, Bassett DR, Evans MF. Urban trails and physical activity a natural experiment. Am J Prev Med. 2010; 39(3): 259–262. CrossRef
- Pucher J, Dill J, Handy S. Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increase bicycling: an international review. Prev Med. 2010; 50(Suppl 1): S106–S125. CrossRef
- Cohen D, Sehgal A, Williamson S, et al. Impact of a new bicycle path on physical activity. Prev Med. 2008; 46(1): 80–81. CrossRef
- Barnes G, Krizek KJ. Estimating bicycling demand. Transportation research record. J Transp Res Board. 2005; 1939: 45–51. CrossRef
- Owen N, De De BI, Sugiyama T, et al. Bicycle use for transport in an Australian and a Belgian city: associations with built-environment attributes. J Urban Health. 2010; 87(2): 189–198. CrossRef
- Lovasi GS, Hutson MA, Guerra M, et al. Built environments and obesity in disadvantaged populations. Epidemiol Rev. 2009; 31: 7–20. CrossRef
- Frank LD, Andresen MA, Schmid TL. Obesity relationships with community design, physical activity, and time spent in cars. Am J Prev Med. 2004; 27(2): 87–96. CrossRef
- Reed JA, Wilson DK, Ainsworth BE, et al. Perceptions of neighborhood sidewalks on walking and physical activity patterns in a Southeastern community in the US. J Phys Act Heal. 2006; 3(2): 243–253.
- Lovasi GS, Neckerman KM, Quinn JW, et al. Effect of individual or neighborhood disadvantage on the association between neighborhood walkability and body mass index. Am J Public Health. 2009; 99(2): 279–284. CrossRef
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Community Health Survey: methodology. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 2009. http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/survey/chs-methods.shtml. Accessed 9 Sept 1910, 2010.
- Black JL, Macinko J. The changing distribution and determinants of obesity in the neighborhoods of New York City, 2003–2007. Am J Epidemiol. 2010; 171(7): 765–775. CrossRef
- Black JL, Macinko J, Dixon LB, et al. Neighborhoods and obesity in New York City. Health Place. 2010; 16(3): 489–499. CrossRef
- Neckerman KM, Lovasi GS, Davies S, et al. Disparities in Urban Neighborhood Conditions: evidence from GIS Measures and Field Observation in New York City. J Public Health Policy. 2009; 30: S264–S285. CrossRef
- Frank L, Sallis J, Conway T, et al. Many pathways from land use to health—associations between neighborhood walkability and active transportation, body mass index, and air quality. J Am Plan Assoc. 2006; 72(1): 75–87. CrossRef
- Planning. NYCDoC. Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) data; 2008.
- Frank LD, Schmid TL, Sallis JF, et al. Linking objectively measured physical activity with objectively measured urban form: findings from SMARTRAQ. Am J Prev Med. 2005; 28(2 Suppl 2): 117–125. CrossRef
- Besser LM, Dannenberg AL. Walking to public transit: steps to help meet physical activity recommendations. Am J Prev Med. 2005; 29(4): 273–280. CrossRef
- Lachapelle U, Frank L, Saelens BE, et al. Commuting by public transit and physical activity: where you live, where you work, and how you get there. J Phys Act Health. 2011; 8(Suppl 1): S72–S82.
- Lachapelle U, Frank LD. Transit and health: mode of transport, employer-sponsored public transit pass programs, and physical activity. J Public Health Policy. 2009; 30(Suppl 1): S73–S94. CrossRef
- Rundle A, Roux AV, Free LM, et al. The urban built environment and obesity in New York City: a multilevel analysis. Am J Health Promot. 2007; 21(4 Suppl): 326–334.
- Frank LD, Saelens BE, Powell KE, et al. Stepping towards causation: do built environments or neighborhood and travel preferences explain physical activity, driving, and obesity? Soc Sci Med. 2007; 65(9): 1898–1914. CrossRef
- King AC, Sallis JF, Frank LD, et al. Aging in neighborhoods differing in walkability and income: associations with physical activity and obesity in older adults. Soc Sci Med. 2011; 73(10): 1525–1533. CrossRef
- Boone-Heinonen J, Jacobs DR Jr, Sidney S, et al. A walk (or cycle) to the park: active transit to neighborhood amenities, the CARDIA study. Am J Prev Med. 2009; 37(4): 285–292. CrossRef
- Panter JR, Jones A. Attitudes and the environment as determinants of active travel in adults: what do and don’t we know? J Phys Act Heal. 2010; 7(4): 551–561.
- Panter JR, Jones AP, van Sluijs EM, et al. Environmental and psychological correlates of older adult’s active commuting. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011; 43(7): 1235–1243. CrossRef
- Lovasi G, Grady S, Rundle A. Steps forward: review and recommendations for research on walkability, physical acitivty and cardiovascular health. Public Health Rev. 2012; 33(2). in press.
- Rundle A, Diez Roux A, Freeman L, et al. The urban built environment and obesity in New York City: a multilevel analysis. Am J Health Promot. 2007; 21: 326–334. CrossRef
- Rundle A, Field S, Park Y, et al. Personal and neighborhood socioeconomic status and indices of neighborhood walk-ability predict body mass index in New York City. Soc Sci Med. 2008; 67(12): 1951–1958. CrossRef
- Rundle A, Neckerman KM, Freeman L, et al. Neighborhood food environment and walkability predict obesity in New York City. Environ Health Perspect. 2009; 117(3): 442–447.
- Neighborhood Walkability and Active Travel (Walking and Cycling) in New York City
Journal of Urban Health
Volume 90, Issue 4 , pp 575-585
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Active travel
- Neighborhood walkability
- Urban health
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
- 2. Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
- 3. School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
- 4. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
- 5. Department of Sociology, American University, Washington, DC, USA
- 6. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY, USA
- 7. Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA