New Urbanism: Effects on Walking & Bicycling Physical Activity. UNC Chapel Hill Department of City and Regional Planning. Asad J. Khattak, Ph.D. & Daniel A. Rodríguez Ph.D. Abstract. Motivation. To study the impact of new-urbanist developments on: Physical activity duration
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New Urbanism: Effects on
Walking & Bicycling Physical Activity
UNC Chapel Hill
Department of City and Regional Planning
Asad J. Khattak, Ph.D. & Daniel A. Rodríguez Ph.D.
To study the impact of new-urbanist developments on:
By limiting the opportunities for being physically active in every day life, contemporary urban areas might play a role in encouraging sedentary lifestyles. To explore this issue, recent research has focused on how urban design correlates with physical activity for transportation and recreation. However, few studies have examined the correlates of transportation and recreational physical activity, and even fewer have done so in two different community design contexts. Two neighborhoods in Orange County, NC were selected based on their: 1) similarity in terms of property values, income levels of residents, and age of neighborhood and 2) substantial differences in design, density, diversity of land uses, transit availability and walkability. Perhaps the most salient difference is their design: One neighborhood is a conventional suburban development, while the other is a new-urbanist development. The results show that while there is no statistical difference in physical activity across neighborhood types, the location of physical activity differs. In the new-urbanist neighborhood, there is greater physical activity in the neighborhood but less physical activity in the house. New-urbanist residents are also more likely to engage in physical activity for utilitarian and recreational travel.
Physical activity duration per week from household survey (hours)1
Utilitarian vs recreational physical activity from travel diaries (hours)1
Location of physical activity from household survey (hours)1
Impact of neighborhood type on total physical activity1
1 N=397 household heads
Impact of neighborhood type on physical activity in the neighborhood1
1 N=397 household heads
Impacts of physical activity on Body-Mass Index (BMI)
1 N=387 household heads
Utilitarian vs recreational physical activity from household survey (hours)1