Perception of the built environment and walking in pericentral neighbourhoods in Santiago, Chile

Walking is important as a sustainable and healthy transport mode. Yet, walking is strongly influenced by the built environment and the socio-cultural characteristics of the walker. However, the impact of the built environment on walking and “walkers” has scarcely been studied in a Latin American context, such as Chile. This research explores which elements of the built environment ease and, contrarily, which elements hinder walking in six pericentral neighbourhoods in Santiago, Chile, according to self-reported walking experiences of local residents of different socioeconomic backgrounds, ages and genders. Through “walking interviews” with one hundred and twenty residents conducted during spring 2018, this article examines how walkers perceive elements of the built environment and how those elements elicit emotions, affecting people's travel behaviour. Self-reports from walkers reveal that the presence of trees, wide sidewalks and active uses ease walking, eliciting wellbeing and happiness. On the contrary, residents declare that traffic noise, motorized traffic, narrow and deteriorated sidewalks, and difficult crossings hinder walking, especially for older adults and women, causing them stress, fear and anger. Finally, this article reflects upon how walking can be promoted through a more pedestrian-friendly design of the built environment, by considering self-reported walking experiences of local residents.

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01767931
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 4 2021 3:35PM