Pathways between neighbourhood walkability and mental wellbeing: A case from Hankow, China

To integrate community liveability with public health concerns, urban design theories place increasingly put emphasis on promoting pedestrian friendly neighborhoods with good walkability. A plethora of studies have investigated the association between walkability and mental wellbeing, but few attempts have been made to systematically synthesize the pathways of their mutual relationship in the Chinese context. Therefore, this study aims to establish a theoretical model and to validate the socio-psychosocial pathways between neighborhood walkability and mental wellbeing through four designated mediators, i.e. mitigation of environmental stressors, walking behaviors, social cohesion, and sense of community. A total of 786 data valid samples in Wuhan were adopted for the final analysis. The outcome variable is the mental wellbeing, which is measured by the adapted World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5). A second-order construct is established to denote the perceived neighborhood walkability, which is measured with an adapted Walkability Scale-Abbreviated (NEWS-A). Several mediators, including the mitigation of environmental stressors, walking behaviors, social cohesion, and sense of community, are measured via a self-reported questionnaire with the seven-point Likert scale. Both the direct and indirect effects of walkability on mental wellbeing are quantified with the partial least squares (PLS) model. The perceived neighborhood walkability is a multi-dimensional characteristics concept. The neighborhood walkability is positively associated with mental wellbeing, and mitigation of environmental stressors, walking behaviors, social cohesion, and sense of community significantly mediate the positive influence of neighborhood walkability on mental wellbeing. The indirect influence of perceived neighbourhood walkability on mental wellbeing through these mediators is stronger than its direct influence. This study validates multiple important socio-psychosocial pathways between perceived neighbourhood walkability and the mental wellbeing in a typical metropolitan area with a dense population in the Chinese context. Results are consistent with the findings in developed countries. This study deepens the understanding to promote healthier urban settings by improve neighbourhood walkability.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01764904
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 5 2021 3:33PM