Active transportation (AT) has aroused great interest in recent years as it may benefit public health and reduce the dependency on cars. This article aims to summarize recent findings on the relationship between the objectively measured built environment and AT among adults, to examine if different study designs may generate different results, and to provide directions for future research. A systematic literature review of journal articles from different databases was conducted. Fifty-one articles published between 2005 and 2017 were identified, and twelve built environment factors were extracted. The results showed that residential density, land use mix, street connectivity, retail land use, walkability, sidewalk, and access to destinations had a convincing positive relationship with walking for transport. Regarding cycling for transport, while street connectivity and bike lane showed a convincing positive relationship, neighborhood aesthetics and access to destinations showed a convincing negative relationship. Studies that use different analyzed geographic units and different measurements of AT may generate different results, so choosing suitable geographic units and measurement of AT is necessary to reduce the mismatch in the relationships. In addition, we need more longitudinal studies, more studies on cycling for transport, and more studies in countries outside North America and Australasia.
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