Individual Assessment of Neighbourhood Walkability Scale

Author of Tool: 

Kevin Leyden

Key references: 

Leyden KM. Social capital and the built environment: the importance of walkable neighbourhoods. American Journal of Public Health. 2003;93(9):1546–1551. 

Primary use / Purpose: 

Used to examine whether pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use neighborhoods encourage enhanced levels of social and community engagement.

Background: 

The fundamental premise of the Individual Assessment of Neighbourhood Walkability Scale is that some neighborhood designs enable or encourage social ties or community connections, whereas others do not. Theoretically, the neighborhood designs (or types) most likely to promote social capital are those that are mixed use and pedestrian oriented. Such neighborhoods (usually labeled “traditional” or “complete” neighborhoods) are typically found in older cities and older rural towns.The following popper user interface control may not be accessible. Tab to the next button to revert the control to an accessible version.Destroy user interface control. These neighborhoods are walkable, enabling residents to perform daily activities (e.g., grocery shopping, going to the park, taking children to school) without the use of a car.Today’s version of the neighborhood, the suburban subdivision, contains only houses. Daily needs are not met in the neighborhood or even in town; they are instead fulfilled at large megastores in malls or strip malls located along 4-lane connector roads that are typically clogged with traffic. If residents want to shop, worship, or go to a restaurant, pub, park, or library, they must travel by car. Many contemporary suburban subdivisions do not even have sidewalks: citizens must drive to find a place to exercise or to go for a walk. The main hypothesis of the study from which the Neighborhood Walkability Instrument originates is that pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use neighborhoods are more likely to encourage social capital than are car-dependent, single-use neighborhoods. 

Psychometrics: 

For psychometric properties see: Leyden KM. Social capital and the built environment: the importance of walkable neighbourhoods. American Journal of Public Health. 2003;93(9):1546–1551. 

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