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Title: Do Inequalities in Neighborhood Walkability Drive Disparities in Older Adults’ Outdoor Walking?
Authors: Dimopoulos, P.
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: One Ecosystem2(2017)1, article no. e13714, 26 p
Abstract: Older residents of high-deprivation areas walk less than those of low-deprivation areas. Previous research has shown that neighborhood built environment may support and encourage outdoor walking. The extent to which the built environment supports and encourages walking is called “walkability”. This study examines inequalities in neighborhood walkability in high- versus low-deprivation areas and their possible influences on disparities in older adults’ outdoor walking levels. For this purpose, it focuses on specific neighborhood built environment attributes (residential density, land-use mix and intensity, street connectivity, and retail density) relevant to neighborhood walkability. It applied a mixed-method approach, included 173 participants (≥65 years), and used a Geographic Information System (GIS) and walking interviews (with a sub-sample) to objectively and subjectively measure neighborhood built environment attributes. Outdoor walking levels were measured by using the Geographic Positioning System (GPS) technology. Data on personal characteristics was collected by completing a questionnaire. The results show that inequalities in certain land-use intensity (i.e., green spaces, recreation centers, schools and industries) in high- versus low-deprivation areas may influence disparities in older adults’ outdoor walking levels. Modifying neighborhood land use intensity may help to encourage outdoor walking in high-deprivation areas.
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