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The Relationship between the Neighborhood Built Environment and Active Transportation among Adults: A Systematic Literature Review

Institute of Environmental Planning, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Herrenhäuser Str. 2, 30419 Hannover, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Urban Sci. 2017, 1(3), 29;
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 27 August 2017
PDF [459 KB, uploaded 27 August 2017]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: active transportation; built environment; adults; review active transportation; built environment; adults; review

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Wang, L.; Wen, C. The Relationship between the Neighborhood Built Environment and Active Transportation among Adults: A Systematic Literature Review. Urban Sci. 2017, 1, 29.

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