Recreational walking decisions in urban away-from-home environments: The relevance of air quality, noise, traffic, and the natural environment

Walking is one mode of active transportation that cities around the world promote not only to increase public health, but also to fight climate change. The goal of the present study is to assess the relevance of air quality, noise, green environment, and traffic as well as time and distance considerations on individuals stated walking preferences. In total, 501 US residents participated in an adaptive choice based conjoint study. The following seven attributes were considered (with three levels each): air pollution level, air pollution source, noise level, noise source, natural environment, traffic, as well as walking time and distance. Part-worth utility and relative importance scores were estimated using hierarchical Bayes analyses. Air pollution level was the most important attribute, followed by traffic, noise level, and the natural environment. The findings help identify burdens for walking in urban areas, particularly with regard to air pollution levels and traffic condition (which have a combined relative importance of 41%). Pro-environmentalists select their routes based on both air pollution and noise levels, thus they might be particularly interested in informing themselves about, and monitoring, these attributes. City planners should create opportunities for active routes that offer clean air, some greenery, natural sound, and low traffic, and inform city residents better about these attributes.


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  • Accession Number: 01717534
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 28 2019 3:04PM