Special Issue "Walkable Neighborhoods: The Link between Public Health, Urban Design, and Transportation"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Koichiro Oka
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, 2‐579‐15, Mikajima, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359‐1192, Japan
Interests: sedentary behavior; behavioral epidemiology; behavioral science; built environment; physical activity; workplace
Dr. Mohammad Javad Koohsari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, 2‐579‐15, Mikajima, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359‐1192, Japan
Behavioural Epidemiology Laboratory, Baker Heart & Diabetes, Melbourne, Australia (Honorary)
Interests: urban design; population health; neighborhood; environmental health; workplace; active living

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is now widely recognized that individual-based motivational interventions alone are not sufficient to address the global pandemic of physical inactivity (lack of exercise and too much sitting time). There has been a growing interest in the role of the physical built environment on people’s active behaviors. The fundamental assumption is that surrounding physical environment can support active behaviors among a large number of people with long-term effects. This topic has received much attentions over the last decade, mainly in three fields of public health, urban design, and transportation.

This Special Issue aims to provide a multidisciplinary and evidence-based state-of-the-art on how where people live impact their active behaviors and health outcomes. For the purpose of this Special Issue, the focus is on the “physical” (not social) aspect of the built environment at the spatial scales of public open spaces, neighborhoods and cities (not buildings/workplaces). We are particularly interested in the following topics:

  • Terminologies and definitions: Active-friendly neighborhood, walkability, walkable environment, pedestrian-oriented development, bikeability.
  • Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on the role of physical environment on active behaviors and health outcomes among vulnerable groups (e.g., kids and older adults, lower socioeconomic groups) and in under-studied contexts (e.g., Asian and African countries).
  • The mechanisms through which walkable neighborhoods influence health outcomes (such as obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, etc.).
  • Measurements development: Neighborhood definition, objective or subjective measures of built environment, activity space and GPS, audits, challenges in developing walkability measures.
  • Health disparities: The role of walkable environments on disparities in physical activity/sedentary behaviors.
  • Unintentional negative effects of walkable neighborhoods.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of active-friendly neighborhood design.
  • Implementation: How to translate active living science into urban design and transportation practice, developing new walkable neighborhood indicators, walkable neighborhood guidelines, successful case studies.

The main article types are as follows: original research (article), review, and commentary. We welcome studies from different disciplines such as public health, urban design, transportation, sport science, kinesiology, epidemiology, geography, and landscape architecture.

Prof. Koichiro Oka
Dr. Mohammad Javad Koohsari
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Walkable Environment
  • Physical Activity
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Neighborhood
  • Health Outcomes
  • Walkability
  • Health Disparity
  • Active Living
  • Parks
  • Public Open Spaces

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle
Modal Shift from Cars and Promotion of Walking by Providing Pedometers in Yokohama City, Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2144; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16122144 - 17 Jun 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
Mobility management is a transportation policy aiming to change travel behavior from car use to sustainable transportation modes while increasing people’s physical activity. Providing pedometers and visualizing step counts, popular interventions in public health practice, may constitute a mobility management program. However, the [...] Read more.
Mobility management is a transportation policy aiming to change travel behavior from car use to sustainable transportation modes while increasing people’s physical activity. Providing pedometers and visualizing step counts, popular interventions in public health practice, may constitute a mobility management program. However, the ease of modal shifts and changeability of walking habits differ across neighborhood environments. Using questionnaire data from 2023 middle-aged and older participants from Yokohama, Japan, in May 2017, this study examined (1) the relationship between the physical and social environments of Yokohama Walking Point Program participants who volunteered to use free pedometers and their modal shifts from cars to walking and public transport, and (2) whether participants’ modal shifts were associated with increases in step counts. Multivariate categorical regression analyses identified the frequency of greetings and conversations with neighbors as well as health motivation as important explanatory variables in both analyses. Participants living in neighborhoods far from railway stations and in neighborhoods with a high bus stop density tended to shift to walking and public transport, a modal shift that was highly associated with increased step counts. These results suggest that mobility management should be promoted in collaboration with public health and city planning professionals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Test-Retest Reliability and Walk Score® Neighbourhood Walkability Comparison of an Online Perceived Neighbourhood-Specific Adaptation of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1917; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16111917 - 30 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1112
Abstract
There is a growing public health interest in the contributions of the built environment in enabling and supporting physical activity. However, few tools measuring neighbourhood-specific physical activity exist. This study assessed the reliability of an established physical activity tool (International Physical Activity Questionnaire: [...] Read more.
There is a growing public health interest in the contributions of the built environment in enabling and supporting physical activity. However, few tools measuring neighbourhood-specific physical activity exist. This study assessed the reliability of an established physical activity tool (International Physical Activity Questionnaire: IPAQ) adapted to capture perceived neighbourhood-specific physical activity (N-IPAQ) administered via the internet and compared N-IPAQ outcomes to differences in neighbourhood Walk Score®. A sample of n = 261 adults completed an online questionnaire on two occasions at least seven days apart. Questionnaire items captured walking, cycling, moderate-intensity, and vigorous-intensity physical activity, undertaken inside the participant’s perceived neighbourhood in the past week. Intraclass correlations, Spearman’s rank correlation, and Cohen’s Kappa coefficients estimated item test-retest reliability. Regression estimated the associations between self-reported perceived neighbourhood-specific physical activity and Walk Score®. With the exception of moderate physical activity duration, participation and duration for all physical activities demonstrated moderate reliability. Transportation walking participation and duration was higher (p < 0.05) in more walkable neighbourhoods. The N-IPAQ administered online found differences in neighbourhoods that vary in their walkability. Future studies investigating built environments and self-reported physical activity may consider using the online version of the N-IPAQ. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Associations of Neighborhood Walkability with Sedentary Time in Nigerian Older Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1879; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16111879 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1207
Abstract
Previous studies have investigated the potential role of neighborhood walkability in reducing sedentary behavior. However, the majority of this research has been conducted in adults and Western developed countries. The purpose of the present study was to examine associations of neighborhood environmental attributes [...] Read more.
Previous studies have investigated the potential role of neighborhood walkability in reducing sedentary behavior. However, the majority of this research has been conducted in adults and Western developed countries. The purpose of the present study was to examine associations of neighborhood environmental attributes with sedentary time among older adults in Nigeria. Data from 353 randomly-selected community-dwelling older adults (60 years and above) in Maiduguri, Nigeria were analyzed. Perceived attributes of neighborhood environments and self-reported sedentary time were assessed using Nigerian-validated and reliable measures. Outcomes were weekly minutes of total sedentary time, minutes of sitting on a typical weekday, and minutes of sitting on a typical weekend day. In multivariate regression analyses, higher walkability index, proximity to destinations, access to services, traffic safety, and safety from crime were associated with less total sedentary time and sedentary time on both a weekday and a weekend day. Moderation analysis showed that only in men was higher walking infrastructure and safety found to be associated with less sedentary time, and higher street connectivity was associated with more sedentary time. The findings suggest that improving neighborhood walkability may be a mechanism for reducing sedentary time among older adults in Nigeria. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Comparative Associations of Street Network Design, Streetscape Attributes and Land-Use Characteristics on Pedestrian Flows in Peripheral Neighbourhoods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1846; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16101846 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1448
Abstract
Research has sufficiently documented the built environment correlates of walking. However, evidence is limited in investigating the comparative associations of micro- (streetscape features) and macro-level (street network design and land-use) environmental measures with pedestrian movement. This study explores the relative association of street-level [...] Read more.
Research has sufficiently documented the built environment correlates of walking. However, evidence is limited in investigating the comparative associations of micro- (streetscape features) and macro-level (street network design and land-use) environmental measures with pedestrian movement. This study explores the relative association of street-level design-local qualities of street environment-, street network configuration –spatial structure of the urban grid- and land-use patterns with the distribution of pedestrian flows in peripheral neighbourhoods. Street design attributes and ground-floor land-uses are obtained through field surveys while street network configuration is evaluated through space syntax measures. The statistical models indicate that the overall spatial configuration of street network proves to be a stronger correlate of walking than local street-level attributes while only average sidewalk width appears to be a significant correlate of walking among the streetscape measures. However, the most significant and consistent correlate of the distribution of flows is the number of recreational uses at the segment-level. This study contributes to the literature by offering insights into the comparative roles of urban design qualities of the street environment and street network layout on pedestrian movement. The findings also offer evidence-based strategies to inform specific urban design and urban master planning decisions (i.e., the provision of more generous sidewalks on streets with relatively higher directional accessibility) in creating lively, walkable environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Winter City Urbanism: Enabling All Year Connectivity for Soft Mobility
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1820; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16101820 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1170
Abstract
This study explores connectivity for soft mobility in the winter season. Working with residents from the sub-arctic city of Luleå, Sweden, the research examines how the interaction between the built environment and winter season affects people’s use of the outdoor environment. The research [...] Read more.
This study explores connectivity for soft mobility in the winter season. Working with residents from the sub-arctic city of Luleå, Sweden, the research examines how the interaction between the built environment and winter season affects people’s use of the outdoor environment. The research questions for this study are (1) How do residents perceive the effects of winter on an areas spatial structure and pattern of streets and pathways? and (2) What enablers and barriers impact resident soft mobility choices and use of the public realm in winter? Methods used were mental mapping and photo elicitation exercises. These were used to gain a better understanding of people’s perception of soft mobility in winter. The results were analysed to identify how soft mobility is influenced by the winter season. The discussion highlights that at the neighbourhood scale, residents perceive that the winter alters an areas spatial structure and pattern of streets and pathways. It was also seen to reduce ease of understanding of the public realm and townscape. In conclusion, it is argued that new and re-tooled town planning strategies, such as extending blue/ green infrastructure planning to include white space could help better enable all year outdoor activity in winter cities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How Do Neighbourhood Definitions Influence the Associations between Built Environment and Physical Activity?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1501; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16091501 - 28 Apr 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1669
Abstract
Researchers investigating relationships between the neighbourhood environment and health first need to decide on the spatial extent of the neighbourhood they are interested in. This decision is an important and ongoing methodological challenge since different methods of defining and delineating neighbourhood boundaries can [...] Read more.
Researchers investigating relationships between the neighbourhood environment and health first need to decide on the spatial extent of the neighbourhood they are interested in. This decision is an important and ongoing methodological challenge since different methods of defining and delineating neighbourhood boundaries can produce different results. This paper explores this issue in the context of a New Zealand-based study of the relationship between the built environment and multiple measures of physical activity. Geographic information systems were used to measure three built environment attributes—dwelling density, street connectivity, and neighbourhood destination accessibility—using seven different neighbourhood definitions (three administrative unit boundaries, and 500, 800, 1000- and 1500-m road network buffers). The associations between the three built environment measures and five measures of physical activity (mean accelerometer counts per hour, percentage time in moderate–vigorous physical activity, self-reported walking for transport, self-reported walking for recreation and self-reported walking for all purposes) were modelled for each neighbourhood definition. The combination of the choice of neighbourhood definition, built environment measure, and physical activity measure determined whether evidence of an association was detected or not. Results demonstrated that, while there was no single ideal neighbourhood definition, the built environment was most consistently associated with a range of physical activity measures when the 800-m and 1000-m road network buffers were used. For the street connectivity and destination accessibility measures, associations with physical activity were less likely to be detected at smaller scales (less than 800 m). In line with some previous research, this study demonstrated that the choice of neighbourhood definition can influence whether or not an association between the built environment and adults’ physical activity is detected or not. This study additionally highlighted the importance of the choice of built environment attribute and physical activity measures. While we identified the 800-m and 1000-m road network buffers as the neighbourhood definitions most consistently associated with a range of physical activity measures, it is important that researchers carefully consider the most appropriate type of neighbourhood definition and scale for the particular aim and participants, especially at smaller scales. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Children’s Transport Built Environments: A Mixed Methods Study of Associations between Perceived and Objective Measures and Relationships with Parent Licence for Independent Mobility in Auckland, New Zealand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1361; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16081361 - 16 Apr 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Children’s independent mobility is declining internationally. Parents are the gatekeepers of children’s independent mobility. This mixed methods study investigates whether parent perceptions of the neighbourhood environment align with objective measures of the neighbourhood built environment, and how perceived and objective measures relate to [...] Read more.
Children’s independent mobility is declining internationally. Parents are the gatekeepers of children’s independent mobility. This mixed methods study investigates whether parent perceptions of the neighbourhood environment align with objective measures of the neighbourhood built environment, and how perceived and objective measures relate to parental licence for children’s independent mobility. Parents participating in the Neighbourhood for Active Kids study (n = 940) answered an open-ended question about what would make their neighbourhoods better for their child’s independent mobility, and reported household and child demographics. Objective measures of the neighbourhood built environment were generated using geographic information systems. Content analysis was used to classify and group parent-reported changes required to improve their neigbourhood. Parent-reported needs were then compared with objective neighbourhood built environment measures. Linear mixed modelling examined associations between parental licence for independent mobility and (1) parent neighbourhood perceptions; and (2) objectively assessed neighbourhood built environment features. Parents identified the need for safer traffic environments. No significant differences in parent reported needs were found by objectively assessed characteristics. Differences in odds of reporting needs were observed for a range of socio-demographic characteristics. Parental licence for independent mobility was only associated with a need for safer places to cycle (positive) and objectively assessed cycling infrastructure (negative) in adjusted models. Overall, the study findings indicate the importance of safer traffic environments for children’s independent mobility. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Area-Level Walkability and the Geographic Distribution of High Body Mass in Sydney, Australia: A Spatial Analysis Using the 45 and Up Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16040664 - 24 Feb 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2005
Abstract
Improving the walkability of built environments to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce high body mass is increasingly considered in regional development plans. Walkability indexes have the potential to inform, benchmark and monitor these plans if they are associated with variation in body mass [...] Read more.
Improving the walkability of built environments to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce high body mass is increasingly considered in regional development plans. Walkability indexes have the potential to inform, benchmark and monitor these plans if they are associated with variation in body mass outcomes at spatial scales used for health and urban planning. We assessed relationships between area-level walkability and prevalence and geographic variation in overweight and obesity using an Australian population-based cohort comprising 92,157 Sydney respondents to the 45 and Up Study baseline survey between January 2006 and April 2009. Individual-level data on overweight and obesity were aggregated to 2006 Australian postal areas and analysed as a function of area-level Sydney Walkability Index quartiles using conditional auto regression spatial models adjusted for demographic, social, economic, health and socioeconomic factors. Both overweight and obesity were highly clustered with higher-than-expected prevalence concentrated in the urban sprawl region of western Sydney, and lower-than-expected prevalence in central and eastern Sydney. In fully adjusted spatial models, prevalence of overweight and obesity was 6% and 11% lower in medium-high versus low, and 10% and 15% lower in high versus low walkability postcodes, respectively. Postal area walkability explained approximately 20% and 9% of the excess spatial variation in overweight and obesity that remained after accounting for other individual- and area-level factors. These findings provide support for the potential of area-level walkability indexes to inform, benchmark and monitor regional plans aimed at targeted approaches to reducing population-levels of high body mass through environmental interventions. Future research should consider potential confounding due to neighbourhood self-selection on area-level walkability relations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Walk Score® and Its Associations with Older Adults’ Health Behaviors and Outcomes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 622; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16040622 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1406
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the associations between Walk Score® and lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes in older Taiwanese adults. A nationwide survey was conducted through telephone-based interviews with older adults (65 years and older) in Taiwan. Data on Walk Score® [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the associations between Walk Score® and lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes in older Taiwanese adults. A nationwide survey was conducted through telephone-based interviews with older adults (65 years and older) in Taiwan. Data on Walk Score®, lifestyle behaviors (physical activity, sedentary behavior, healthy eating behavior, alcohol use, and smoking status), health outcomes (overweight/obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease), and personal characteristics were obtained from 1052 respondents. A binary logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders was employed. None of the Walk Score® categories were related to the recommended levels of total physical activity. The categories “very walkable” and “walker’s paradise” were positively related to total sedentary time and TV viewing among older adults. No significant associations were found between Walk Score® and other lifestyle health behaviors or health outcomes. While Walk Score® was not associated with recommended levels of physical activity, it was positively related to prolonged sedentary time in the context of a non-Western country. The different associations between the walk score and health lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes in different contexts should be noted. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Development of a Neighbourhood Walkability Index for Porto Metropolitan Area. How Strongly Is Walkability Associated with Walking for Transport?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2767; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15122767 - 06 Dec 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2234
Abstract
The creation of walkable communities constitutes a cost-effective health promotion strategy, as walking is an accessible and free intervention for increasing physical activity and health. In this cross-sectional ecological study, we developed a walkability index for the Porto Metropolitan Area and we validated [...] Read more.
The creation of walkable communities constitutes a cost-effective health promotion strategy, as walking is an accessible and free intervention for increasing physical activity and health. In this cross-sectional ecological study, we developed a walkability index for the Porto Metropolitan Area and we validated it by assessing its association with walking for transportation. Neighborhood walkability was measured using a geographic information system and resulted from the weighted sum of residential density, street connectivity, and a destination-based entropy index. The index was categorized into quintiles of increasing walkability. Among the 1,112,555 individuals living in the study area, 28.1% resided in neighborhoods in the upper quintile of walkability and 15.8% resided in the least walkable neighborhoods. Adjusted regression models revealed that individuals residing in the most walkable neighborhoods are 81% more likely to report walking for transportation, compared with those from the least walkable neighborhoods (odds ratio: 1.81; 95% confidence intervals: 1.76–1.87). These results suggest that community design strategies to improve walkability may promote walking behavior. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Older Adults Using Our Voice Citizen Science to Create Change in Their Neighborhood Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2685; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15122685 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2376
Abstract
Physical activity, primarily comprised of walking in older adults, confers benefits for psychological health and mental well-being, functional status outcomes and social outcomes. In many communities, however, access to physical activity opportunities are limited, especially for older adults. This exploratory study engaged a [...] Read more.
Physical activity, primarily comprised of walking in older adults, confers benefits for psychological health and mental well-being, functional status outcomes and social outcomes. In many communities, however, access to physical activity opportunities are limited, especially for older adults. This exploratory study engaged a small sample (N = 8) of adults aged 65 or older as citizen scientists to assess and then work to improve their communities. Using a uniquely designed mobile application (the Stanford Healthy Neighborhood Discovery Tool), participants recorded a total of 83 geocoded photos and audio narratives of physical environment features that served to help or hinder physical activity in and around their community center. In a facilitated process the citizen scientists then discussed, coded and synthesized their data. The citizen scientists then leveraged their findings to advocate with local decision-makers for specific community improvements to promote physical activity. These changes focused on: parks/playgrounds, footpaths, and traffic related safety/parking. Project results suggest that the Our Voice approach can be an effective strategy for the global goals of advancing rights and increasing self-determination among older adults. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Walkability, Overweight, and Obesity in Adults: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16173135 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
We conducted a systematic review to describe and summarize possible associations between the walkability index, overweight, and obesity. Systematic searches using seven electronic databases and reference lists were conducted to identify papers published until December 2017. Observational studies, describing associations using regression-based statistical [...] Read more.
We conducted a systematic review to describe and summarize possible associations between the walkability index, overweight, and obesity. Systematic searches using seven electronic databases and reference lists were conducted to identify papers published until December 2017. Observational studies, describing associations using regression-based statistical methods, published in English and Portuguese, reporting markers of overweight and obesity, and involving adults (≥18 years) were included. Of the 2469 references initially retrieved, ten were used for the descriptive synthesis. Seven studies showed significant inverse associations between walkability and overweight and obesity, however, all were cross-sectional studies. High risk of bias scores were observed in “selection bias” and “withdrawals and dropouts”. All studies were published in high-income countries with sample sizes ranging among 75 to 649,513 participants. Weight and height as measures for determining BMI tended to be self-reported. Indicators of walkability, such as land-use mix, street connectivity and residential density were used as components of the indices. Based on this review, more studies should be conducted in low, middle, and middle-high income countries, using longitudinal designs that control neighborhood self-selection; other indicators of the neighborhood environment, such as food access, physical activity facilities, sidewalks, and safety and crime prevention should be considered. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary
A Case Study of a Natural Experiment Bridging the ‘Research into Policy’ and ‘Evidence-Based Policy’ Gap for Active-Living Science
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2448; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16142448 - 10 Jul 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1148
Abstract
The translation of research into tangible health benefits via changes to urban planning policy and practice is a key intended outcome of academic active-living research endeavours. Conversely, policy-makers and planners identify the need for policy-specific evidence to ensure policy decisions and practices are [...] Read more.
The translation of research into tangible health benefits via changes to urban planning policy and practice is a key intended outcome of academic active-living research endeavours. Conversely, policy-makers and planners identify the need for policy-specific evidence to ensure policy decisions and practices are informed and validated by rigorously established evidence. In practice, however, these two aspirations rarely meet and a research-translation gap remains. The RESIDE project is a unique longitudinal natural experiment designed to evaluate the health impacts of the ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ planning policy, which was introduced by the Western Australian Government to create more walkable suburbs. This commentary provides an overview and discussion of the policy-specific study methodologies undertaken to quantitatively assess the implementation of the policy and assess its active living and health impacts. It outlines the key research-translation successes and impact of the findings on the Liveable Neighbourhoods policy and discusses lessons learnt from the RESIDE project to inform future natural experiments of policy evaluation. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary
Activity-Friendly Built Environments in a Super-Aged Society, Japan: Current Challenges and toward a Research Agenda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 2054; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15092054 - 19 Sep 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2318
Abstract
There is a growing recognition of the role of built environment attributes, such as streets, shops, greenways, parks, and public transportation stations, in supporting people’s active behaviors. In particular, surrounding built environments may have an important role in supporting healthy active aging. Nevertheless, [...] Read more.
There is a growing recognition of the role of built environment attributes, such as streets, shops, greenways, parks, and public transportation stations, in supporting people’s active behaviors. In particular, surrounding built environments may have an important role in supporting healthy active aging. Nevertheless, little is known about how built environments may influence active lifestyles in “super-aged societies”. More robust evidence-based research is needed to identify how where people live influences their active behaviors, and how to build beneficial space in the context of super-aged societies. This evidence will also be informative for the broader international context, where having an aging society will be the inevitable future. This commentary sought to move this research agenda forward by identifying key research issues and challenges in examining the role of built environment attributes on active behaviors in Japan, which is experiencing the longest healthy life expectancy, but rapid “super-aging”, with the highest proportion of old adults among its population in the world. Full article
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