Utilitarian and hedonic walking: examining the impact of the built environment on walking behavior

INTRODUCTION: Most previous studies have mainly focused on utilitarian or recreational walking and discussed their relationship with the built environment. The point is that most of these studies have not been sensitive to the motivation of trips while travel is a complicated behavior and individuals may have different degrees of motivation and utility for a given trip purpose. Accordingly, because of different utilities of travel, it is more likely that the built environment differently affects walking behavior. PURPOSE: This paper aims to clearly distinguish between utilitarian and hedonic walking and then explores how the built environment influences walking behavior. METHOD: Using data collected from 863 respondents in six diverse neighborhoods in Isfahan, Iran, we developed negative binomial models for two types of walking; namely, utilitarian and hedonic walking. RESULTS: The results reveal some interesting insights: first, both models of walking confirm that neighborhood preferences do not play any important role in explaining walking behavior in our context, inconsistent with previous studies. Second, the objective and perceived built environment factors differently contribute to explaining both types of walking. In this regard, utilitarian walking is affected by mixed land use, residential density, facility accessibility, attractiveness, and walking infrastructure; and hedonic walking is influenced by mixed land use, attractiveness and safety. Third, attitudinal factors and socio-demographic variables also differently appear in the models of walking. CONCLUSION: The results confirm that it is essential to be more sensitive to the motivation of trips, and suggest a clear policy implication: the individuals’ reactions toward policies intended to increase walking frequency depend partly on the utility for walking.

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    • © 2018 Enayat Mirzaei et al. The contents of this paper reflect the views of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Transportation Research Board or the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Authors:
    • Mirzaei, Enayat
    • Kheyroddin, Reza
    • Behzadfar, Mostafa
    • Mignot, Dominique
  • Publication Date: 2018-6

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01671149
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 29 2018 11:05AM