Int J Health Geogr - An objective index of walkability for research and planning in the Sydney metropolitan region of New South Wales, Australia: an ecological study.


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CKGROUND: Walkability describes the capacity of the built environment to support walking for various purposes. This paper describes the construction and validation of two objective walkability indexes for Sydney, Australia.METHODS: Walkability indexes using residential density, intersection density, land use mix, with and without retail floor area ratio were calculated for 5,858 Sydney Census Collection Districts in a geographical information system. Associations between variables were evaluated using Spearman's rho (). Internal consistency and factor structure of indexes were estimated with Cronbach's alpha and principal components analysis; convergent and predictive validity were measured using weighted kappa (w) and by comparison with reported walking to work at the 2006 Australian Census using logistic regression. Spatial variation in walkability was assessed using choropleth maps and Moran's I.RESULTS: A three-attribute abridged Sydney Walkability Index comprising residential density, intersection density and land use mix was constructed for all Sydney as retail floor area was only available for 5.3% of Census Collection Districts. A four-attribute full index including retail floor area ratio was calculated for 263 Census Collection Districts in the Sydney Central Business District. Abridged and full walkability index scores for these 263 areas were strongly correlated (=0.93) and there was good agreement between walkability quartiles (w=0.73). Internal consistency ranged from 0.60 to 0.71, and all index variables loaded highly on a single factor. The percentage of employed persons who walked to work increased with increasing walkability: 3.0% in low income-low walkability areas versus 7.9% in low income-high walkability areas; and 2.1% in high income-low walkability areas versus 11% in high income-high walkability areas. The adjusted odds of walking to work were 1.05 (0.96-1.15), 1.58 (1.45-1.71) and 3.02 (2.76-3.30) times higher in medium, high and very high compared to low walkability areas. Associations were similar for full and abridged indexes.CONCLUSIONS: The abridged Sydney Walkability Index has predictive validity for utilitarian walking, will inform urban planning in Sydney, and will be used as an objective measure of neighbourhood walkability in a large population cohort. Abridged walkability indexes may be useful in settings where retail floor area data are unavailable.

Resumo Limpo

ckground walkabl describ capac built environ support walk various purpos paper describ construct valid two object walkabl index sydney australiamethod walkabl index use residenti densiti intersect densiti land use mix without retail floor area ratio calcul sydney census collect district geograph inform system associ variabl evalu use spearman rho intern consist factor structur index estim cronbach alpha princip compon analysi converg predict valid measur use weight kappa w comparison report walk work australian census use logist regress spatial variat walkabl assess use choropleth map moran iresult threeattribut abridg sydney walkabl index compris residenti densiti intersect densiti land use mix construct sydney retail floor area avail census collect district fourattribut full index includ retail floor area ratio calcul census collect district sydney central busi district abridg full walkabl index score area strong correl good agreement walkabl quartil w intern consist rang index variabl load high singl factor percentag employ person walk work increas increas walkabl low incomelow walkabl area versus low incomehigh walkabl area high incomelow walkabl area versus high incomehigh walkabl area adjust odd walk work time higher medium high high compar low walkabl area associ similar full abridg indexesconclus abridg sydney walkabl index predict valid utilitarian walk will inform urban plan sydney will use object measur neighbourhood walkabl larg popul cohort abridg walkabl index may use set retail floor area data unavail

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