Public Open Space and Walking: The Role of Proximity, Perceptual Qualities of the Surrounding Built Environment, and Street Configuration

Mohammad Javad Koohsari, Justyna Anna Karakiewicz, Andrew T. Kaczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined how proximity and attractiveness of public open spaces (POSs), perceptions of the surrounding built environment, and street configuration were associated with walking to and within POSs. Residents from three neighborhoods in Melbourne (N = 335) completed a questionnaire about walking and perceptions of their neighborhood, and geographic information systems and space syntax measures were used to assess proximity of POSs and street configuration. Proximity and attractiveness of POSs were not associated with POS-related walking. However, several perceptual qualities of the built environment, including safety from crime and traffic and aesthetics, were associated with greater walking. As well, persons living in areas with the most integrated street configurations reported less POS-related walking. Neighborhood perceptions and street configuration are key urban design issues to consider in promoting residents' use of POS for walking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-736
Number of pages31
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 1



  • built environment
  • perceptual qualities
  • proximity
  • public open space
  • street configuration
  • walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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