Design and destinations: Factors influencing walking and total physical activity

Ann Forsyth, Mary Hearst, J. Michael Oakes, Kathryn H. Schmitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations


Do people walk more, or less, depending on the physical character of their residential areas rather than merely their individual characteristics? This paper reports findings for the Twin Cities, Minnesota, about how walking and total physical activity are affected by street pattern, 'pedestrian-oriented' infrastructure and amenities, and mixed use or destinations-in shorthand, design and destinations. The effects of density are dealt with in less depth. Like earlier studies, it finds that walking for specific purposes (i.e. travel or leisure) varies in relation to the physical characteristics of places. However, this study using multiple measures of overall walking and physical activity suggests that socially similar people do the same total amount of physical activity in different kinds of places and that level of activity is, on average, low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1973-1996
Number of pages24
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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