Skip to main content

Walkability and the built environment: validation of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) for urban areas in Mexico

Abstract

The article gives the results of adjusting an abbreviated version of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale to the situation in Mexico. The results were obtained through the application of 156 instruments to individuals selected through a probability sampling in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico. The validation process was done over four stages; in the first stage, the questions were analyzed and the sampling was adjusted. In the second stage, a factor analysis was carried out; as the questions were Likert-scale type, we use principal components with a matrix of polychoric correlations. In the third stage, the ordinal and non-ordinal Cronbach Alpha coefficients were determined, as were the ordinal and non-ordinal McDonald Omega coefficients, showing that the non-ordinal ones tend to underestimate the level of reliability, as they assume that it is a continuous scale when in this case it is not; however, the literature shows that these coefficients have been the most used in the validation of this scale. Finally, the intervals of trust were calculated with the bootstrap method, with the goal of incorporating the sensitivity that the coefficients could imply in aspects such as the number of questions, intercorrelations between the questions, and the size of the sample. The results show that the ordinal Alpha and Omega coefficients for the three factors, as well as for the entire scale, will have robust values 95% of the time that the questionnaire is used.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Development with Equality Research Institute (EQUIDE) for financing for this paper, and the Iberoamericana University Research Department for the resources used in writing the article. Funding was provided by Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México-EQUIDE (Grant No. 0060 EQUIDE).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Oscar A. Martínez-Martínez.

Appendix: NEWS-Mexico questionnaire

Appendix: NEWS-Mexico questionnaire

Questionnaire applied to test the scale

For questions 1 through 11:

From 1 to 10 min… (1)/From 11 to 20 min… (2)/From 21 to 30 min… (3)/From 31 to 40 min… (4)/More than 40 min… (5)

Item 1. How long does it take you to walk from your house to the store?

Item 2. How long does it take you to walk from your house to the supermarket?

Item 3. How long does it take you to walk from your house to the fruit and vegetable market?

Item 4. How long does it take you to walk from your house to the computer and accessories store?

Item 5. How long does it take you to walk from your house to the bus stop, metro, or Metrobus station, etc.?

Item 6. How long does it take you to walk from your house to a bank?

Item 7. How long does it take you to walk from your house to a park or recreation center?

Item 8. How long does it take you to walk from your house to a bookstore?

Item 9. How long does it take you to walk from your house to the gym?

Item 10. How long does it take you to walk from your house to the laundromat?

Item 11. How long does it take you to walk from your house to the café?

For question 12:

No… (1)/Yes… (2)

Item 12. Do you do most of your shopping at stores in your neighborhood?

For question 13:

Very good… (5)/Good… (4)/Regular… (3)/Bad… (2)/Very bad… (1)

Item 13. How would you rate the public transport you use?

For question 14:

From 1 to 30 min… (5)/From 31 to 60 min… (4)/From 61 to 90 min… (3)/From 91 to 120 min… (2)/More than 2 h… (1)

Item 14. How long does it take you to reach your school or workplace?

For question 15:

Yes… (2)/No… (1)

Item 15. Are there sidewalks on most of the streets of your neighborhood?

For question 16:

Very easy… (5)/Easy… (4)/Neither easy nor difficult… (3)/Difficult… (2)/Very difficult… (1)

Item 16. Given the quality of the sidewalks in your neighborhood, how easy is it to walk on them?

For questions 17 through 20:

Yes… (2)/No… (1)

Item 17. Are there trees or green areas along the streets in your neighborhood?

Item 18. In your neighborhood, are there pedestrian crosswalks and traffic lights that help you cross busy streets?

Item 19. Are the streets in your neighborhood well-lit at night?

Item 20. Generally speaking, is there no trash left on the streets in your neighborhood?

For questions 21 through 24:

Dissatisfied … (1)/Not really satisfied … (2)/Somewhat satisfied… (3)/Very satisfied… (4)

Item 21. How satisfied do you feel with the number of pedestrian crosswalks in your neighborhood?

Item 22. How satisfied do you feel with access to public transport?

Item 23. How satisfied do you feel with the neighborhood as somewhere good to raise children?

Item 24. How satisfied do you feel with the neighborhood as somewhere good to live?

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Martínez-Martínez, O.A., Ramírez-López, A. Walkability and the built environment: validation of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) for urban areas in Mexico. Qual Quant 52, 703–718 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-017-0483-x

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-017-0483-x

Keywords

  • Walkability
  • Scale validation
  • Omega coefficients
  • Bootstrap method
  • Urban areas
  • México