Does the environment matter?
Does the environment matter for whether a person chooses to go for a walk? A research team at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) wanted to find out.
They asked 1,800 people to answer a survey about walking habits, more specifically how often they chose walking as a means of transport when going somewhere. The research team also asked questions about how the environment influences the choice of walking over other means of transport.
Two factors were important
It was concluded that two factors were important for the participants who chose walking as a means of transport. The first factor is recognition, i.e. if you are in an area you know well, for example lived or worked for a long time.
The second factor was if you feel comfortable in an area you are in. If you feel safe, feel a sense of belonging with the surroundings and if you like the design of the area. People are more likely to choose a walk if they can walk in a nice park than if they have to walk next to a heavily trafficked road.
The environment matters
The conclusion of the survey is therefore that the surroundings are important and that community planners should keep this in mind when planning new areas. If you can build in security, nature and a sense of belonging right from the start, there is a high probability that people will choose walking as a means of transport when they have to do an errand or get between different places.
Source: Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST)