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How Does Walkability Change Behavior? A Comparison between Different Age Groups in the Netherlands

Department of the Built Environment, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, 5600MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020540
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 11 January 2020 / Published: 15 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Empirical research provides evidence that, in neighborhoods with higher walkability, individuals make more walking trips. However, it is not clear what the exact nature is of the relationships between neighborhood walkability and walking trips, since a higher walking frequency can be explained in different ways. This study examined whether the extra walking trips in better walkable neighborhoods are related primarily to trip generation, destination choice, or transport mode choice and whether this is the same for different age groups. A neighborhood fixed effects regression analysis was conducted in a first step to obtain a walkability measure for each neighborhood in the Netherlands including systematic as well as unobserved effects. Subsequently, the estimated fixed effects were used as walkability data for a path analysis based on a causal model to test the hypotheses stated. The results of the path analysis show direct relationships of neighborhood walkability with trip generation, destination choice, and transport mode choice, after controlling for the mutual relationships between the activity and trip variables. Comparing different age groups (i.e., children, adults, and elderly), the differences found mostly concerned the relationship between neighborhood walkability and trip generation. We concluded therefore that conditions for walkability are not the same for all age groups. View Full-Text
Keywords: walkability; age groups; path analysis; trip generation; destination choice; mode choice and walking trips walkability; age groups; path analysis; trip generation; destination choice; mode choice and walking trips
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Liao, B.; E. W. van den Berg, P.; van Wesemael, P.J.V.; A. Arentze, T. How Does Walkability Change Behavior? A Comparison between Different Age Groups in the Netherlands. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 540.

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