Neighbourhood Destination Accessibility Index: a GIS tool for measuring infrastructure support for neighbourhood physical activity

Karen Witten, Jamie Pearce, Peter Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The sharp increase in obesity in recent years has prompted researchers to examine the various pathways through which urban built environments influence population-level physical activity. Walking access to everyday destinations is one such pathway. This paper describes a measure of pedestrian access to neighbourhood destinations. Using eight domains of neighbourhood destinations (education, transport, recreation, social and cultural, food retail, financial, health, and other retail) we developed a GIS-based 'Neighbourhood Destination Accessibility Index' (NDAI) for four New Zealand cities. We found that the intensity of neighbourhood destination opportunities varied considerably among cities and between neighbourhoods within cities. Further, access to neighbourhood infrastructural support tends to be better in more socially deprived places. Potential explanations for the sociospatial distribution of neighbourhood destinations in New Zealand cities include historical processes of residential and economic development and infrastructural investment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-223
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • URBAN NEW-ZEALAND
  • ACTIVITY ENVIRONMENTS
  • COMMUNITY RESOURCES
  • BUILT ENVIRONMENT
  • HEALTH
  • WALKING
  • ACCESS
  • FOOD
  • PROXIMITY
  • ADULTS

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