A pathway linking smart growth neighborhoods to home-based pedestrian travel

Steven R. Gehrke, Kelly J. Clifton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Land development patterns, urban design, and transportation system features are inextricably linked to pedestrian travel. Accordingly, planners and decision-makers have turned to integrated transportation-land use policies and investments to address the pressing need for improvements in physical activity levels via the creation of walkable communities. However, policy questions regarding the identification of smart growth indicators and their connection to walking remain unanswered, because most studies of the built environment determinants of pedestrian travel: (a) represent the built environment with isolated metrics instead of as a multidimensional construct and (b) model this transportation-land use relationship outside of a multidirectional analytic framework. Using structural equation modeling, this Portland, Oregon study identifies a second-order latent construct of the built environment indicated by land use mix, employment concentration, and pedestrian-oriented design features. Study findings suggest this construct has a strong positive effect on the household-level decision to walk for transportation and discretionary trip purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-62
Number of pages11
JournalTravel Behaviour and Society
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Built environment
  • Pedestrian travel
  • Smart growth
  • Structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


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