Healthy cities — walkability as a component of health-promoting urban planning and design

Minh-Chau Tran

Abstract

Health impairments due to inactivity are related to the car-oriented urban development of recent decades, along with sedentary lifestyles. A health-maintaining environment must therefore not only reduce direct health risk factors (pathogenic concept), but also contribute to health chances that may indirectly support health (salutogenic concept). Walking has been identified as the most influenceable behavior; it is also the most environmental friendly mode of transport, social and health. From the planning view, the concept of walkability therefore aims at a built environment facilitating physical activity. It is increasingly recognized that walkability has become an important topic in the field of planning, urban design and health, since the built environment affects certain behaviors. From practice, concrete guidance is demanded as to the type of urban design features to be captured or applied to evaluate the walkability or to create active cities. The measurement of features of the built environment plays a special role in this context, but also the question of how research results can reach policies as well as planning and building practice

Keywords

health-promotion; urban design; urban planning;built environment; walkability; physical activity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/JSUPP.2016.01.006
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