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1.
Sustainability ; 14(16):9962, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2024123

ABSTRACT

The paper presents a discussion concerning the development of projects regarding active travel with the policy of sustainable mobility, with active school transport in southern Poland being taken into special consideration. The implementation of the idea of sustainable school travel planning involves linking several social groups, including traffic planners and organizers, school administrators, governments, parents, and children. This, in turn, requires considering the criteria reported by all parties when choosing a scenario for the region’s development in terms of transport solutions. The following study was based on the methodological foundations of multicriteria decision-making analysis. The research purpose of this paper is to identify and classify the actions, policies, and scenarios of active travel projects for the sustainable development of mobility based on the cities of southern Poland. The evaluation was carried out through expert methods with multicriteria decision-making tools based on the MULTIPOL (MULTI-criteria and POLicy) prospective analysis technique. It allowed for the selection of the most probable policy, which covered the six actions considered by the experts to be the most significant for the development of the active school transport system in the analyzed region. Such actions are as follows: identification of walking school bus routes, modernization of crosswalk lines, planning of walking and cycling routes to schools, promoting safety educational programs, distribution of active school transport booklets and cycling, and pedestrian skills training workshops. The paper presents a new method to evaluate the policies and actions regarding promoting sustainable (active) travel to school. The innovative approach results from assembling a mixed group of people (stakeholders) as experts. The mix of experts consisting of users (pupils and parents), practitioners, and scientist experts in this field allowed us to score policies, actions, and scenarios, enabling a wider spectrum of assessment than before.

2.
Sustainability ; 14(15), 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1997758

ABSTRACT

The literature on urban travel behaviour in Africa is sparse, limiting our understanding of how urban transport policies respond to human and planetary needs. We conducted a cross-sectional household telephone survey on 1334 participants, using a 24 h time-use diary, to investigate travel behaviour and barriers to active travel (walking and cycling) in Yaounde, Cameroon. We found that two-thirds of all participants reported at least one trip;the median (IQR) numbers of trips per capita and per participant with trips were 2 (0-3) and 2 (2-3), respectively. The main trip modes were shared taxi (46%), walking (27%), private cars (11%), and motorcycle taxis (10%), with 25%, 56%, and 45% of all participants reporting the use of active, motorised, and public transport, respectively. The mean (IQR) trip duration was 48 (30-60) min;for participants who reported trips, the daily overall and active travel durations were 121 (60-150) and 28 (0-45) min, respectively. Women were less likely to travel, making fewer and shorter trips when they did. Participants in less wealthy households were more likely to travel. The primary barriers to both walking and cycling were the fear of road traffic injuries and the inconvenience of active travel modes. Therefore, local urban transport authorities need to improve the safety and convenience of active mobility and promote gender equity in transport. Restrictions to movements during the COVID-19 pandemic and the relatively small survey sample might have biased our results;thus, a representative travel survey could improve current estimates. More generally, high-quality research on travel behaviours and their correlates is needed in low-resource settings.

3.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1475, 2022 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1968563

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life in extraordinary ways impacting health and daily mobility. Public transit provides a strategy to improve individual and population health through increased active travel and reduced vehicle dependency, while ensuring equitable access to jobs, healthcare, education, and mitigating climate change. However, health safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic eroded ridership, which could have longstanding negative consequences. Research is needed to understand how mobility and health change as the pandemic recedes and how transit investments impact health and equity outcomes. METHODS: The TROLLEY (TRansit Opportunities for HeaLth, Livability, Exercise and EquitY) study will prospectively investigate a diverse cohort of university employees after the opening of a new light rail transit (LRT) line and the easing of campus COVID-19 restrictions. Participants are current staff who live either < 1 mile, 1-2 miles, or > 2 miles from LRT, with equal distribution across economic and racial/ethnic strata. The primary aim is to assess change in physical activity, travel mode, and vehicle miles travelled using accelerometer and GPS devices. Equity outcomes include household transportation and health-related expenditures. Change in health outcomes, including depressive symptoms, stress, quality of life, body mass index and behavior change constructs related to transit use will be assessed via self-report. Pre-pandemic variables will be retrospectively collected. Participants will be measured at 3 times over 2 years of follow up. Longitudinal changes in outcomes will be assessed using multilevel mixed effects models. Analyses will evaluate whether proximity to LRT, sociodemographic, and environmental factors modify change in outcomes over time. DISCUSSION: The TROLLEY study will utilize rigorous methods to advance our understanding of health, well-being, and equity-oriented outcomes of new LRT infrastructure through the COVID-19 recovery period, in a sample of demographically diverse adult workers whose employment location is accessed by new transit. Results will inform land use, transportation and health investments, and workplace interventions. Findings have the potential to elevate LRT as a public health priority and provide insight on how to ensure public transit meets the needs of vulnerable users and is more resilient in the face of future health pandemics. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The TROLLEY study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT04940481 ) June 17, 2021, and OSF Registries ( https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/PGEHU ) June 24, 2021, prior to participant enrollment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Quality of Life , Retrospective Studies , Transportation/methods
4.
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice ; 163:148-164, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1937252

ABSTRACT

This study is the first to empirically analyze motivations for taking undirected travel (UT) trips, or travel without a destination (as opposed to derived trips) undertaken for the purpose of the trip itself, as the determinants and characteristics are largely unknown. The overall research objective is to explore UT motivations in terms of demographics and trip characteristics, such as mode, frequency, distance, and duration, using survey data from Flanders, Belgium during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown (18 March – 4 May 2020). First, a factor analysis identifies four main motivations for UT: 1. Improving Health and Well-Being, 2. Removing Negative Feelings, 3. Enjoying Scenery, and 4. Out-of-Home Socializing. Following, differences in UT motivations across groups are analyzed with mean-comparisons of demographic characteristics, trip characteristics, and attitude and well-being measurements. Findings suggest a clear relationship between UT and physical/mental health. There are stronger motivations for active than motorized UT trips, and stronger motivations associated with use of multiple modes. Longer (distance and duration) and more frequent UT trips increasingly fulfill all motivations. This research provides more evidence for the idea that travel is not always a derived demand for which less is always better, or an ancillary event to other activities, and can offer baseline empirical information on UT from which future studies can grow as well as contribute information about the value of travel.

5.
Frontiers in Environmental Science ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1875407

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a burgeoning demand for active travel (walking or cycling), which is a healthy, pollution-free, and affordable daily transportation mode. Park green space (PGS), as an open natural landscape, have become a popular destination for active travel trips in metropolitan areas. Pedestrians and cyclists are often at high crash risk when exposed to complicated traffic environments in urban areas. Therefore, this study aims to propose a safety assessment framework for evaluating active travel traffic safety (ATTS) near PGS from the perspective of urban planning and exploring the effect of the point-of-interest (POI) aggregation phenomenon on ATTS. First, links between ATTS and the environment variables were investigated and integrated into the framework using the catastrophe model. Second, the relationship between the POI density and ATTS was investigated using three spatial regression models. Results in the Wuhan Metropolitan Area as a case study have shown that (1) the population density, road density, nighttime brightness, and vegetation situation near PGS have pronounced effects on ATTS;(2) pedestrians near PGS enjoy safer road facilities than cyclists. Active travel traffic near PGS requires more attention than non-park neighborhoods;(3) among four park categories, using active travel to access theme parks is the safest;and (4) SEM has the best fit for POI cluster research. Increases in leisure facility density and residence density may lead to deterioration and improvement in ATTS safety levels near PGSs, respectively. The safety framework can be applied in other regions because the selected environment indicators are common and accessible. The findings offer appropriate traffic planning strategies to improve the safety of active travel users when accessing PGS. Copyright © 2022 Luo, Liu, Xing, Wang and Rao.

6.
Front Public Health ; 9: 719742, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775834

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the relationship of active travel to school (ATS) with physical activity (PA) and screen time (ST) by individual and parental characteristics among adolescents, especially in China. To address the research gap, this study aimed to explore the difference of sex, age, living environment, parental occupation and education level in the relationship of ATS with PA and ST among students of grades 7-12 (aged 10-18 years) using cross-sectional data. In 13 cities of Hubei province, China, students from 39 public schools were recruited to engage in the survey. In total, 5,898 students (response rate = 89.6%) were invited into this study. Participants were required to report their ATS (including its types), PA and ST as well as sociodemographic information using a validated questionnaire. Descriptive analyses were used to report the information of all variables. Regression models were used to analyse the relationships of ATS and its types with PA and ST. In a total of 4,128 participants (boys: 50.9%; younger adolescents: 61.9%) included in the final analysis, the proportion of those with ATS was 47.3%. Regarding the types of ATS, walking accounted for over 30%, while cycling was 13.2%. Participants with ATS were more likely to have sufficient PA (OR = 1.26, 95% CI: 1.14-1.39), especially among boys, younger adolescents and those with lower parental education level. However, ATS was not associated with ST (OR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.86-1.01). Participants with cycling had a higher odds ratio of being physically active (OR for cycling = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.27-1.70; OR for walking = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.06-1.32). The association of ATS types with PA and ST differed by gender, age, living environment and parental educational level as well as occupations. ATS may be a useful approach to increase PA among adolescents, but this should be explained by individual and parental characteristics.


Subject(s)
Screen Time , Adolescent , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Exercise , Humans , Male , Parents , Schools , Transportation
7.
Children's Geographies ; : 1-15, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1642209

ABSTRACT

Neighbourhood design can have substantial impacts on children's physical and psychological well-being. COVID-19 lockdowns produced striking and unprecedented changes in how neighbourhoods functioned for children. The aim of this research was to explore what worked well for children during Alert Levels 3 and 4 (lockdown) in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), focusing in particular on the neighbourhood environment. Children (n = 192) aged between 5 and 13 years completed an online survey that collected information on neighbourhood walking and wheeling and what they liked about their neighbourhood during lockdown in NZ. Car-less neighbourhoods were important for supporting children’s well-being. Community activities such as the NZ Bear Hunt were appreciated by children. Natural environments, being home, spending time with family, and simple activities were all liked by participants. Social connections were important but often required technology. Findings can help inform initiatives to support child well-being in the face of potential future lockdowns or new pandemics. [ FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Children's Geographies is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full . (Copyright applies to all s.)

8.
Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act ; 18(1): 152, 2021 11 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538078

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although it is globally known that Japan has high prevalence of active school travel among children, there are few international studies on Japanese children's school travel. Moreover, only few studies have focused on the differences in their mode of travel between to-school and from-school. This study examined the associations of neighborhood built, safety, and social environments with walking to/from school among elementary school-aged children in Chiba, Japan. METHODS: We conducted an online survey with 1545 parents of children aged 6-12 years residing in Chiba between 25 and 27 November 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. A neighborhood was defined as the area of a postcode provided by the participants. Each neighborhood environment was assessed based on the built environment (new town designation, walkability, distance to school, population density), social environment (neighborhood cohesion and connection), and safety (CCTVs, a road section for walking alone, safety volunteers). Neighborhood walkability was measured using subscales of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (youth and abbreviated versions) including crime safety and traffic safety. Parents' perceived influence of COVID-19 on school commuting and after-school activities were also included in the model as covariates. Walking to and from school were separately analyzed using multinomial logistic regressions, where new towns and walkability were computed separately as explanatory variables. RESULTS: Four fifths of children walked to and from school daily. Walking to school was positively associated with crime safety, neighborhood connections, and schools sited in new towns. Walking from school had positive associations with traffic safety, neighborhood cohesion, and CCTVs, but negative associations with safety volunteers and after-school activities. The presence of a section for walking alone and perceived influence of COVID-19 had negative associations with walking to and from school. CONCLUSIONS: Recent social changes such as declining birthrate, decline in public elementary schools, and increasing after-school activities may change parental attitudes toward children's walking to/from school, and subsequently, their mode of school travel over time. To maintain the high prevalence of walking to/from school in Japan, multidisciplinary approaches involving different stakeholders from education, public health, and urban planning are required to overcome sectionalism and support this behavior in the long term.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Environment Design , Humans , Japan , Pandemics , Parents , Residence Characteristics , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety , Schools , Social Environment , Transportation , Walking
9.
Health Place ; 71: 102659, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397344

ABSTRACT

Most of the existing literature concerning the links between built environment and COVID-19 outcomes is based on aggregate spatial data averaged across entire cities or counties. We present neighborhood level results linking census tract-level built environment and active/sedentary travel measures with COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality rates in King County Washington. Substantial variations in COVID-19 outcomes and built environment features existed across neighborhoods. Using rigorous simulation-assisted discrete outcome random parameter models, the results shed new lights on the direct and indirect connections between built environment, travel behavior, positivity, hospitalization, and mortality rates. More mixed land use and greater pedestrian-oriented street connectivity is correlated with lower COVID-19 hospitalization/fatality rates. Greater participation in sedentary travel correlates with higher COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality whereas the reverse is true for greater participation in active travel. COVID-19 hospitalizations strongly mediate the relationships between built environment, active travel, and COVID-19 survival. Ignoring unobserved heterogeneity even when higher resolution smaller area spatial data are harnessed leads to inaccurate conclusions.


Subject(s)
Built Environment , COVID-19 , Hospitalization , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Walking
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(12)2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266744

ABSTRACT

National and international strategies and recommendations are intended to increase physical activity in the general population. Active transportation is included in interdisciplinary strategies to meet these recommendations. Cycling seems to be more health enhancing than walking for transportation since cycling seems to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors. Furthermore, the health benefits of cycling are proven to outrun the risk of injuries and mortality. Politicians seem to approve costly infrastructure strategies to increase the amount of cycling in the population to improve public health and shift to more sustainable travel habits. A linear relationship between cycle-friendly infrastructure and the amount of commuter cycling has been demonstrated. However, in Norway and on a global level, there is a lack of robust evaluations of actions and sensitive monitoring systems to observe possible change. Therefore, we aimed to develop the Norwegian bike traffic index and describe the national, regional, and local trends in counted cycle trips. We used a transparent methodology so that the index can be used, developed, and adapted in other countries. We included 89 stationary counters from the whole country. Counters monitored cycling from 2018 onward. The index is organized at local, regional, and national levels. Furthermore, the index is adjusted for population density at the counter level and presented as ratio of counted cycle trips, comparing 2018 to subsequent years. The index is presented as a percentage change with 95% confidence intervals. In Norway, counted cycle trips increased by 11% from 2018 (100, 100-100) to 2020 (111.0, 106.2-115.1), with large geographical differences. In Southern Norway, there was a significant increase of 23%, and in Northern Norway, there was a nonsignificant decrease by 8% from 2018 to 2020. The indices may indicate possible related effects of local to national cycling strategies and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Norwegian travel habits in urban areas.


Subject(s)
Bicycling , COVID-19 , Humans , Norway , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Transportation , Walking
11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(15)2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157941

ABSTRACT

The bicycle is a low-cost means of transport linked to low risk of transmission of infectious disease. During the COVID-19 crisis, governments have therefore incentivized cycling by provisionally redistributing street space. We evaluate the impact of this new bicycle infrastructure on cycling traffic using a generalized difference in differences design. We scrape daily bicycle counts from 736 bicycle counters in 106 European cities. We combine these with data on announced and completed pop-up bike lane road work projects. Within 4 mo, an average of 11.5 km of provisional pop-up bike lanes have been built per city and the policy has increased cycling between 11 and 48% on average. We calculate that the new infrastructure will generate between $1 and $7 billion in health benefits per year if cycling habits are sticky.


Subject(s)
Bicycling/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Accidents, Traffic , Automobiles , Bicycling/economics , Bicycling/standards , COVID-19/transmission , Cities , Environment Design , Europe , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Policy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Safety , Transportation/methods
12.
Sci Total Environ ; 763: 143033, 2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-912619

ABSTRACT

Hot weather not only impacts upon human physical comfort and health, but also impacts the way that people access and experience active travel options such as walking and cycling. By evaluating the street thermal environment of a city alongside an assessment of those communities that are the most vulnerable to the effects of heat, we can prioritise areas in which heat mitigation interventions are most needed. In this paper, we propose a new approach for policy makers to determine where to delegate limited resources for heat mitigation with most effective outcomes for the communities. We use eye-level street panorama images and community profiles to provide a bottom-up, human-centred perspective of the city scale assessment, highlighting the situation of urban tree shade provision throughout the streets in comparison with environmental and social-economic status. The approach leverages multiple sources of spatial data including satellite thermal images, Google street view (GSV) images, land use and demographic census data. A deep learning model was developed to automate the classification of streetscape types and percentages at the street- and eye-view level. The methodology is metrics based and scalable which provides a data driven assessment of heat-related vulnerability. The findings of this study first contribute to sustainable development by developing a method to identify geographical areas or neighbourhoods that require heat mitigation; and enforce policies improving tree shade on routes, as a heat adaptation strategy, which will lead to increasing active travel and produce significant health benefits for residents. The approach can be also used to guide post COVID-19 city planning and design.

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