Title: Using the hierarchy of active travel needs to examine associations between streetscape environments and older adults' active travel in China

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Little is known about the extent to which the age-friendliness of streetscape built environments may influence older adults' active travel (AT) patterns. Moreover, with the exception of street greenery, the non-linear and threshold effects of other characteristics of streetscape built environments have not been examined.

This study used data from the Third Guangzhou Official Household Travel Survey 2017 and Tencent Street View images. Using the Hurdle model and Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs), we examined the non-linear relationships between streetscape built environments and older adults’ AT patterns (i.e., frequency and duration). The models controlled for neighbourhood-level built environment attributes and individual-level characteristics.

Pavement ratio and street obstacles had negative impacts on older adults' AT duration within a certain range, but outside this range, the negative associations no longer held. Street safety, greenery, and vitality were positively associated with older adults’ AT duration within a certain range. Street design exerted positive effects on the likelihood of AT. Age-friendly streetscape built environment attributes showed stronger relationships with the likelihood of AT among older adults aged 70–79, and larger impacts on AT duration for older adults aged 60–69. Notably, street greenery had positive impacts on both AT frequency and duration among older adults aged 80 and above.

The results showed significant non-linear associations between six streetscape built environment characteristics and older adults’ AT patterns. This study provides implications for building age-friendly streetscape built environments.


Streetscape built environments;
Older adults;
Active travel;

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Journal of Transport & Health