The ALR 2015 conference will be held February 22 - 25, 2015 at the Paradise Point Hotel in San Diego, CA.
Active Travel: The Role of Self-Selection in Explaining the Effect of Built Environment on Active Travel
The Challenge: There is a link between neighborhood design and active travel, but it is possible that residents who already are active choose (“self-select”) neighborhoods that support such travel. If this is the case, improvements to the walking environment may not necessarily encourage residents to walk more.
Make an Impact: Improvements to the built environment that facilitate walking have the potential to increase active travel for all residents, whether the neighborhood or its residents are walking-oriented or not.
What the findings are about: This brief reviews evidence showing that self-selection is linked to higher levels of walking in more walkable, traditionally designed neighborhoods, but that neighborhood design can also encourage walking among people who are not already predisposed to do so.
- People living in traditionally designed neighborhoods — those with safe sidewalks and intersections, and streets that are well-connected to nearby shops and other destinations — walk more than they do in typical U.S. suburban neighborhoods, where homes are separated from destinations by major roads that hinder walking or biking.
- Infrastructure improvements could lead to increases in active travel by making it possible for more people who prefer walking or biking to live in neighborhoods that support such activities.
- Improvements to the built environment that facilitate walking have the potential to increase active travel for all residents, whether the neighborhood or its residents are walking-oriented or not.
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Infographics providing walking & biking to school rates on the regional scale.