Zuniga-Teran lead a team which determined that parks are used more when the routes potential users would take to them are more walkable. The investigators found that “Walkable neighborhoods may predict a higher frequency of greenspace use. Walking as a mode to reach greenspace may predict higher frequency of greenspace visitation. Driving as a mode to reach greenspace may predict lower frequency of use of greenspace. Proximity to greenspace may not predict the frequency of greenspace visitation for residents. . . . Walkability elements that were found to influence the probability of greenspace visitation include perceptions of traffic safety (pedestrian and biking infrastructure), surveillance (the extent to which people inside buildings can see pedestrians on the street), and community (spaces that allow social interaction). This study provides empirical evidence to support policies that will improve walkability in neighborhoods so that public health goals of increasing physical activity and wellbeing are achieved.” People who walk or bike to greenspaces are 3.5 times more likely to travel to them daily than individuals who get to them in other ways.
Adriana Zuniga-Teran, Philip Stoker, Randy Gimblett, Barron Orr, Stuart Marsh, David Guertin, and Nader Chalfoun. “Exploring the Influence of Neighborhood Walkability on the Frequency of Use of Greenspace.” Landscape and Urban Planning, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.103609