Priority populations experience unjust access to walkable and bikeable spaces in Canada and internationally. We examined which self-report and audit-based measures have been used to examine equity in walkability and bikeability. In general few studies examine equity in walkability and bikeability and new measures should be developed for this purpose.
For the attention of: National Ministries of Health and WHO Healthy City Networks
The problem: Priority populations, including women, youth, older adults, Indigenous people, LGBTQIA2S+, those experiencing poverty, racialized people, and those living in rural areas have less access to walkable and bikeable spaces in their neighbourhood and benefit less from these spaces.
What we did and why: Walkability and bikeability are associated with physical activity. Few studies have examined or worked with priority populations to assess how these groups access walkable and bikeable spaces.
What our study adds: Few self-report or audit-based of walkability and bikeability measures have been used with priority populations to study physical activity. The most used self-report tools was the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS). The most used audit based tools were the Pedestrian Environment Data Scan and Bridge the Gap Street Segment Tool, but these were only used in two studies.
Implications for city policy and practice: Our experience working with cities is that they have a deep commitment to improving equity in their work. However, cities are challenged with how to measure and monitor equity in walkability and bikeability. This scoping review provides guidance in which tools cities could use to measure, monitor, and intervene to improve equity.
Full research article: Measuring walkability and bikeability for health equity and intervention research: a scoping review by Martine Shareck, Daniel Fuller, Stephanie Sersli, Carly Priebe, Ali Alfosool, Justin Lang and Emily Wolfe Phillips.