Exploring the influence of neighborhood walkability on the frequency of use of greenspace

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Abstract

The use of greenspace has been linked to multiple wellbeing benefits, however there are many factors that influence whether or not residents visit greenspace. In this study, we explore the factors that influence the frequency of greenspace visitation, with a focus on perceptions of walkability, travel mode, and proximity to greenspace. We use a questionnaire to capture perceptions and behaviors of residents (N = 309) and greenspace users (N = 103) in Tucson, Arizona. We estimated binary logistic regression models to identify predictors of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly visits to greenspace. Results suggest that perceptions of walkability, along with mode of travel, and proximity to greenspace are associated with the frequency of use of greenspace. Walkability elements that were found to influence the probability of greenspace visitation include perceptions of traffic safety (pedestrian and biking infrastructure), surveillance (the extent to which people inside buildings can see pedestrians on the street), and community (spaces that allow social interaction). This study provides empirical evidence to support policies that will improve walkability in neighborhoods so that public health goals of increasing physical activity and wellbeing are achieved.

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Zuniga-Teran, A. A., Stoker, P., Gimblett, R. H., Orr, B. J., Marsh, S. E., Guertin, D. P., & Chalfoun, N. V. (2019). Exploring the influence of neighborhood walkability on the frequency of use of greenspace. Landscape and Urban Planning, 190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.103609

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