The built environment determinants of activity participation and walking near the workplace

Steven R. Gehrke, Timothy F. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Investigating the built environment determinants of commuting behaviors to and from the workplace has long been of interest to travel behavior researchers. Specific attention has centered on examination of how smart growth policies encourage both trip-chaining and active travel. Yet, limited research has investigated the impact of the built environment on activity participation and pedestrian travel once the worker has arrived at his/her workplace. A research omission that exists despite the prospect that built environment densification and diversification within employment districts may encounter less opposition from the local community and commuter. Our study investigates these identified gaps by analyzing how the built environment near an individual’s workplace as well as personal, household, and tour-related attributes relate to work-based sub-tour activity participation and walking for activity fulfillment. A bivariate selection model estimated the workplace built environment determinants of work-based sub-tour participation and the likelihood to initiate travel for these sub-tour activities on foot. Findings from this Portland, Oregon study revealed that design and diversity features predicted work-based sub-tour participation; while, the decision to walk to start a sub-tour was strongly associated with a workplace built environment characterized by a traditional neighborhood design and increased residential density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-956
Number of pages16
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity participation
  • Built environment
  • Mode choice
  • Pedestrian
  • Travel behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation


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