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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122767

Development of a Neighbourhood Walkability Index for Porto Metropolitan Area. How Strongly Is Walkability Associated with Walking for Transport?

1
EPIUnit—Instituto de Saúde Pública, Universidade do Porto, 4050-600 Porto, Portugal
2
Department of Public Health, Forensic Sciences and Medical Education, University of Porto Medical School, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 October 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
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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 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: built environment; urban health; urban form; walking; physical activity; health promotion built environment; urban health; urban form; walking; physical activity; health promotion
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Ribeiro, A.I.; Hoffimann, E. 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, 2767.

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