Limits...
International variation in neighborhood walkability, transit, and recreation environments using geographic information systems: the IPEN adult study.

Adams MA, Frank LD, Schipperijn J, Smith G, Chapman J, Christiansen LB, Coffee N, Salvo D, du Toit L, Dygrýn J, Hino AA, Lai PC, Mavoa S, Pinzón JD, Van de Weghe N, Cerin E, Davey R, Macfarlane D, Owen N, Sallis JF - Int J Health Geogr (2014)

Bottom Line: Results show that comparable measures can be created across a range of cultural settings revealing profound global differences in urban form relevant to physical activity.The highly variable measures of urban form will be used to explain individuals' physical activity, sedentary behaviors, body mass index, and other health outcomes on an international basis.Present measures provide the ability to estimate dose-response relationships from projected changes to the built environment that would otherwise be impossible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Exercise and Wellness Program, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion & Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS), Arizona State University, 425 N, 5th Street (MC3020), Phoenix, Arizona. marc.adams@asu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: The World Health Organization recommends strategies to improve urban design, public transportation, and recreation facilities to facilitate physical activity for non-communicable disease prevention for an increasingly urbanized global population. Most evidence supporting environmental associations with physical activity comes from single countries or regions with limited variation in urban form. This paper documents variation in comparable built environment features across countries from diverse regions.

Methods: The International Physical Activity and the Environment Network (IPEN) study of adults aimed to measure the full range of variation in the built environment using geographic information systems (GIS) across 12 countries on 5 continents. Investigators in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States followed a common research protocol to develop internationally comparable measures. Using detailed instructions, GIS-based measures included features such as walkability (i.e., residential density, street connectivity, mix of land uses), and access to public transit, parks, and private recreation facilities around each participant's residential address using 1-km and 500-m street network buffers.

Results: Eleven of 12 countries and 15 cities had objective GIS data on built environment features. We observed a 38-fold difference in median residential densities, a 5-fold difference in median intersection densities and an 18-fold difference in median park densities. Hong Kong had the highest and North Shore, New Zealand had the lowest median walkability index values, representing a difference of 9 standard deviations in GIS-measured walkability.

Conclusions: Results show that comparable measures can be created across a range of cultural settings revealing profound global differences in urban form relevant to physical activity. These measures allow cities to be ranked more precisely than previously possible. The highly variable measures of urban form will be used to explain individuals' physical activity, sedentary behaviors, body mass index, and other health outcomes on an international basis. Present measures provide the ability to estimate dose-response relationships from projected changes to the built environment that would otherwise be impossible.

Show MeSH
Intersection densities for participants’ 1-km network buffers across cities and countries. Circles are outliers that extend past the whiskers and asterisks represent extreme outliers defined as values greater than three times the length of the interquartile range.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4221715&req=5

Fig4: Intersection densities for participants’ 1-km network buffers across cities and countries. Circles are outliers that extend past the whiskers and asterisks represent extreme outliers defined as values greater than three times the length of the interquartile range.

Mentions: Street connectivity was operationalized as intersection density or the ratio of the number of intersections within each participant’s buffer (numerator) divided by the total buffer area. Intersection density is a well-established measure of route directness and captures the ability to traverse between destinations in a direct pathway [52, 12]. An intersection was defined as a point where three or more road segments intersected, after removal of limited access roads and pseudo intersection nodes. Countries were instructed to remove roads where pedestrians were prohibited, such as freeways and freeway on-ramps, before identifying and enumerating intersections. The evaluation revealed that 10 countries removed limited access roads from their analysis. The exception was Colombia, where local circumstances allowed for study participants to reside along what are considered limited access freeways in North America. However, IPEN CC decided after discussion to defer to Colombia’s decision regarding their local circumstance, and the comparability evaluation found that 11 countries computed comparable intersection density variables across 15 cities.Figure 4 shows the variation in intersection densities with the median values demonstrating a cubic-type pattern across cities. The 4 cities in New Zealand represented the lower end of the range, with the lowest median density of intersections across cities (26 per sq km) observed in North Shore, NZL. The highest median was 190 per square km in Bogotá, COL, which also showed the greatest within-city variation, representing a large difference over the pooled median density of 70 intersections per square km. However, because including limited access roads in the intersection density calculation can artificially inflate the number of intersections, many of which were not pedestrian friendly or were completely unwalkable, the value of 135 per square km in Cuernavaca, Mexico was considered the most comparable median value on the high end.Figure 4


International variation in neighborhood walkability, transit, and recreation environments using geographic information systems: the IPEN adult study.

Adams MA, Frank LD, Schipperijn J, Smith G, Chapman J, Christiansen LB, Coffee N, Salvo D, du Toit L, Dygrýn J, Hino AA, Lai PC, Mavoa S, Pinzón JD, Van de Weghe N, Cerin E, Davey R, Macfarlane D, Owen N, Sallis JF - Int J Health Geogr (2014)

Intersection densities for participants’ 1-km network buffers across cities and countries. Circles are outliers that extend past the whiskers and asterisks represent extreme outliers defined as values greater than three times the length of the interquartile range.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4221715&req=5

Fig4: Intersection densities for participants’ 1-km network buffers across cities and countries. Circles are outliers that extend past the whiskers and asterisks represent extreme outliers defined as values greater than three times the length of the interquartile range.
Mentions: Street connectivity was operationalized as intersection density or the ratio of the number of intersections within each participant’s buffer (numerator) divided by the total buffer area. Intersection density is a well-established measure of route directness and captures the ability to traverse between destinations in a direct pathway [52, 12]. An intersection was defined as a point where three or more road segments intersected, after removal of limited access roads and pseudo intersection nodes. Countries were instructed to remove roads where pedestrians were prohibited, such as freeways and freeway on-ramps, before identifying and enumerating intersections. The evaluation revealed that 10 countries removed limited access roads from their analysis. The exception was Colombia, where local circumstances allowed for study participants to reside along what are considered limited access freeways in North America. However, IPEN CC decided after discussion to defer to Colombia’s decision regarding their local circumstance, and the comparability evaluation found that 11 countries computed comparable intersection density variables across 15 cities.Figure 4 shows the variation in intersection densities with the median values demonstrating a cubic-type pattern across cities. The 4 cities in New Zealand represented the lower end of the range, with the lowest median density of intersections across cities (26 per sq km) observed in North Shore, NZL. The highest median was 190 per square km in Bogotá, COL, which also showed the greatest within-city variation, representing a large difference over the pooled median density of 70 intersections per square km. However, because including limited access roads in the intersection density calculation can artificially inflate the number of intersections, many of which were not pedestrian friendly or were completely unwalkable, the value of 135 per square km in Cuernavaca, Mexico was considered the most comparable median value on the high end.Figure 4

Bottom Line: Results show that comparable measures can be created across a range of cultural settings revealing profound global differences in urban form relevant to physical activity.The highly variable measures of urban form will be used to explain individuals' physical activity, sedentary behaviors, body mass index, and other health outcomes on an international basis.Present measures provide the ability to estimate dose-response relationships from projected changes to the built environment that would otherwise be impossible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Exercise and Wellness Program, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion & Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS), Arizona State University, 425 N, 5th Street (MC3020), Phoenix, Arizona. marc.adams@asu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: The World Health Organization recommends strategies to improve urban design, public transportation, and recreation facilities to facilitate physical activity for non-communicable disease prevention for an increasingly urbanized global population. Most evidence supporting environmental associations with physical activity comes from single countries or regions with limited variation in urban form. This paper documents variation in comparable built environment features across countries from diverse regions.

Methods: The International Physical Activity and the Environment Network (IPEN) study of adults aimed to measure the full range of variation in the built environment using geographic information systems (GIS) across 12 countries on 5 continents. Investigators in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States followed a common research protocol to develop internationally comparable measures. Using detailed instructions, GIS-based measures included features such as walkability (i.e., residential density, street connectivity, mix of land uses), and access to public transit, parks, and private recreation facilities around each participant's residential address using 1-km and 500-m street network buffers.

Results: Eleven of 12 countries and 15 cities had objective GIS data on built environment features. We observed a 38-fold difference in median residential densities, a 5-fold difference in median intersection densities and an 18-fold difference in median park densities. Hong Kong had the highest and North Shore, New Zealand had the lowest median walkability index values, representing a difference of 9 standard deviations in GIS-measured walkability.

Conclusions: Results show that comparable measures can be created across a range of cultural settings revealing profound global differences in urban form relevant to physical activity. These measures allow cities to be ranked more precisely than previously possible. The highly variable measures of urban form will be used to explain individuals' physical activity, sedentary behaviors, body mass index, and other health outcomes on an international basis. Present measures provide the ability to estimate dose-response relationships from projected changes to the built environment that would otherwise be impossible.

Show MeSH