The purpose of the present analysis was to use longitudinal data collected over 7 years (from 4 surveys) in the Residential Environments (RESIDE) Study (Perth, Australia, 2003-2012) to more carefully examine the relationship of neighborhood walkability and destination accessibility with walking for transportation that has been seen in many cross-sectional studies. We compared effect estimates from 3 types of logistic regression models: 2 that utilize all available data (a population marginal model and a subject-level mixed model) and a third subject-level conditional model that exclusively uses within-person longitudinal evidence. The results support the evidence that neighborhood walkability (especially land-use mix and street connectivity), local access to public transit stops, and variety in the types of local destinations are important determinants of walking for transportation. The similarity of subject-level effect estimates from logistic mixed models and those from conditional logistic models indicates that there is little or no bias from uncontrolled time-constant residential preference (self-selection) factors; however, confounding by uncontrolled time-varying factors, such as health status, remains a possibility. These findings provide policy makers and urban planners with further evidence that certain features of the built environment may be important in the design of neighborhoods to increase walking for transportation and meet the health needs of residents.
Keywords: built environment; logistic regression; longitudinal study; neighborhood; transport; urban planning; walking.
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