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Open AccessArticle

School Neighbourhood Built Environment Assessment for Adolescents’ Active Transport to School: Modification of an Environmental Audit Tool and Protocol (MAPS Global-SN)

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Active Living Laboratory, School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
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School of Surveying, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
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Department of Teaching of Musical, Visual and Corporal Expression, University of Valencia, Avda. dels Tarongers, 4, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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AFIPS research group, University of Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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Department of Nursing, University of Valencia, Jaume Roig, s/n, 46010 Valencia, Spain
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Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2194; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072194 (registering DOI)
Received: 19 February 2020 / Revised: 22 March 2020 / Accepted: 23 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Promotion of Active Commuting to School)
School neighbourhood built environments (SN-BE) can influence adolescents’ active transport to school habits. Typically, SN-BE assessment has involved micro-scale (i.e., environmental audits) or macro-scale (Geographic Information Systems (GIS)) assessment tools. However, existing environmental audits are time/resource-intensive and not specific to school neighbourhoods, while GIS databases are not generally purposed to include micro-scale data. This study evaluated the inter-rater reliability and feasibility of using a modified audit tool and protocol (Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes Global–School Neighbourhood (MAPS Global-SN)) to assess the SN-BE of twelve secondary schools in Dunedin, New Zealand. Correlations between MAPS Global-SN and GIS measures of the SN-BE were also examined. Specifically, MAPS Global-SN audit and GIS spatial analysis (intersection density, residential density, land use mix, walkability) was conducted within a 0.5 km street-network buffer-zone around all twelve schools. Based on investigator and expert consultation, MAPS Global-SN included eight modifications to both auditing processes and items. Inter-rater reliability data was collected from two independent auditors across two schools. The feasibility of a condensed audit protocol (auditing one side of each street segment in the neighbourhood, compared to both sides) was also assessed. Results indicated the modified MAPS Global-SN tool had good to excellent inter-rater reliability and the condensed MAPS Global-SN audit protocol appeared to sufficiently represent the micro-scale SN-BE. Results also highlighted the complementary nature of micro- and macro-scale assessments. Further recommendations for SN-BE assessment are discussed.
Keywords: active commuting; educational centre; neighbourhood evaluation; urban environment; walkability; youth active commuting; educational centre; neighbourhood evaluation; urban environment; walkability; youth
MDPI and ACS Style

Pocock, T.; Moore, A.; Molina-García, J.; Queralt, A.; Mandic, S. School Neighbourhood Built Environment Assessment for Adolescents’ Active Transport to School: Modification of an Environmental Audit Tool and Protocol (MAPS Global-SN). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2194.

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