, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 1171–1185 | Cite as

The role of the built environment on perceived safety from crime and walking: examining direct and indirect impacts



This study examines the connection between the built environment, perceived safety from crime and walking behaviour by conducting a travel survey in King County, Washington State, U.S. and employing a two-stage least squares model. We seek to answer two research questions: how does the built environment affect perceived safety from crime and walking behaviour; and how does one’s perception of safety from crime affect his/her walking behaviour. Our results show that the built environment is not only significantly related to walking behaviour, as previous research has identified, but also correlated with people’s perception of safety. In addition, a significant association between perceived safety from crime and walking behaviour is found, revealing possible indirect impacts of the built environment on walking. In specific, people living in neighborhoods with good accessibility and pedestrian facilities tend to perceive their neighborhoods safer while density has an opposite impact. Moreover, residents in safe and high-density areas are more likely to walk.


Built environment Perceived safety Walking Two-stage least squares 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urban StudiesThe University of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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