Neighborhood Walkability and Active Travel (Walking and Cycling) in New York City
- 2.2k Downloads
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.
KeywordsActive travel Neighborhood walkability Urban health Walking
Community Health Survey
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York City
- 6.Committee NPAPC. 2010.National Physical Activity Plan. http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/transportation.htm. Accessed 2 Sept 2010.
- 18.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.Google Scholar
- 20.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.
- 25.Planning. NYCDoC. Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) data; 2008.Google Scholar
- 34.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.Google Scholar
- 36.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.Google Scholar