Association between route walkability measures and children’s walking to school

Document Type : Research Article


1 Graduated Master of Science in Highway Engineering, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Transportation Planning, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environment, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Increasing active school trips is a strategy for children’s health. Although route features may associate with higher amounts of walking school trips, the majority of previous studies have focused on buffer-level characteristics of the built environment. Moreover, the role of children’s interests has not been widely examined in previous studies. The present study investigates the associations between the route-level features of the built environment, socio-economic, and cognitive characteristics on children’s walk to school. A total of 340 questionnaires were distributed among 7-12 year-old pupils across three primary schools in a neighbourhood in Tehran. For each route to school the environmental features were collected per Pedestrians First (PF) instrument, a tool for measuring walkability. Results reveal that number of motorcycles, and distance from home to school are negatively, and non-residential land use and proportion of favourable sidewalks are positively related to children’s walk to school. Parental worry about children’s walking to school is negatively associated with children’s walk to school. It is also found that children’s interest in walking is not significant. Results have important ramifications for planning the walk to school programs in the neighbourhood level. Furthermore, findings underscored the provision of multi-facet long-term policies such as land use changes and school location patterns across the neighbourhood, when preparing master and land use plans, to enhance walking school travels for health reasons.


Main Subjects

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