ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


Nowadays, a special attention is given to the role of urban planning and the built environment and their impacts on neighborhood walkability and residents’ walking behavior. A large number of studies have been conducted about this issue in developed countries, but little has been done in this regard in the context of a developing country such as Iran. These researches emphasized the strong relation between accessibility to parks, recreational and sport services. They applied two main approaches of objective and subjective. The objective criterion has some advantages like lesser measurement error, standardization and easy quantification and transferability into policy making. Some researchers believe that subjective approaches have more affinities with real perceptions especially in behavioral sciences. Thus, a considerable number of researchers recommend the use of both objective and subjective approaches. Evidence showed that the dimension of physical problems is more sophisticated in larger urban centers. Tehran mega-polis as capital center of Iran experiences a wide range of socio-economic problems due to the rising level of air pollution. According to the official records of heath organizations, obesity and heart diseases are on the increase among the population of large urban centers. Therefore, it seems that physical activity can partly help reduce the pressure of different physical and mental disorders. Obviously, urban planners play a significant role in carrying out the arrangement of urban land use on different scales from city to neighborhood. The present study examined the relationship between neighborhood walkability and adults’ walking behavior in Metropolitan Tehran. Three built environment measures of net residential density, land-use mix, street connectivity, and socio-economic status (SES) were calculated using geographic information systems (GIS) on a census block scale across Metropolitan Tehran. As participants, 657 subjects were recruited from neighboring areas in terms of both neighborhood walkability and SES scores. The amount of weekly walking was obtained using a self-reported method and, then, it was compared with the neighborhood walkability. The data were processed and classified using SPSS and anylsed via different statistical models. The results of this study showed that there was a significant relationship between the neighborhood walkability and residents’ walking behavior. People who lived in high walkable neighborhoods reported more weekly walking than those who lived in low walkable neighborhoods. These results highlighted the role of urban planning and the built environment in enhancing residents’ physical activity which, in turn, leads to the improvement of residents’ physical and mental health. The main conclusion of this research was that the method and measurement of physical activities in urban areas has definite connection with the socio-economic conditions of people. Thus, urban researchers need to employ social and economic indexes to identify the real requirements of urban neighborhoods and facilities to help members of society, especially the older people, to take part in physical activities. This research, however, recommended further studies in this regard to deepen our understanding about the relation between the features of built environment and the tendency of residents towards more physical activity.


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