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Publication Detail
A novel walkability index for London predicts walking time in adults.
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Stockton JC, Duke-Williams O, Stamatakis E, Brunner EJ, Mindell JS, Shelton NJ
  • Publication date:
  • Name of conference:
    Universities' Transport Study Group 48th Annual Conference Proceedings, 2016
  • Conference place:
    Bristol, UK
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
Objective: To develop a novel walkability index for London and test it through measurement of associations between neighbourhood walkability and walking among adults using data from the Whitehall II Study. Background: Physical activity is essential for health; walking is the easiest way to incorporate it into everyday life. Many studies have reported positive associations between neighbourhood walkability and walking but the majority have focused on cities in North America and Australasia. Urban form with respect to street connectivity, residential density and land use mix – common components of walkability indices – is likely to differ in European cities. Methods: A walkability index for the 633 spatially contiguous census area statistics wards of London was constructed, comprising three core dimensions associated with walking behaviours: residential dwelling density, street connectivity and land use mix. Walkability was expressed as quartile scores, with wards scoring 1 being in the bottom 25% in terms of walkability, and those scoring 4 in the top 25%. A neighbourhood walkability score was assigned to each London-dwelling Whitehall II Study participant (2003-04, N=3020, mean +/-SD age=61.0y +/-6.0) as the walkability score of the ward in which their residential postcode fell. Associations between neighbourhood walkability and weekly walking time were measured using multiple logistic regression. Results: After adjustment for individual level factors and area deprivation, people in the most walkable neighbourhoods were significantly more likely to spend ≥6hr/wk (Odds Ratio 1.4; 95%Confidence Interval 1.1-1.9), than those in the least walkable. Conclusions: The walkability index constructed can predict walking time in adults: living in a more walkable neighbourhood is associated with longer weekly walking time. The index may help urban planners identify and design neighbourhoods in London with characteristics that are potentially more supportive of walking and, thereby, promote public health.
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