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Space Syntax: A measure of urban design and walkability

Results from “Evidence for urban design and public health policy and practice: Space syntax metrics and neighborhood walking “

McCormack, G.R., Koohsari, M. J., Turley, L., Nakaya, T., Shibata, A., Ishii, K., Yasunaga, A., & Oko, K.

Why use space syntax?

A growing body of research has linked neighbourhood built features with the walking behaviours of residents (1). Factors such as street connectivity, land use diversity, and residential density have been associated with neighbourhood physical activity levels. These indices do not always provide information about the configuration of the urban environment and how urban spaces relate to each other (1). The space syntax method allows us to understand this information by modeling street integration and connectivity (2). Measurements of street network and population density using space syntax can estimate a novel walkability metric, the Space Syntax Walkability (SSW) index. A recent study has estimated the associations between these space syntax measures and neighbourhood transportation (TW) and leisure walking (LW) in Canadian adults.


Space syntax metrics and physical activity habits

Higher measures of street integration and SSW were both found to be related with increased TW and LW within a usual week. A one-unit increase in SSW was found to be associated with an increase in time spent TW by 6.8 minutes in a usual week. Apace syntax metrics provide a practical way to conceptualize walkability and is associated with walking habits among Canadian adults in an urban setting.


Suggested Citation: McCormack, G.R., Koohsari, M. J., Turley, L., Nakaya, T., Shibata, A., Ishii, K., Yasunaga, A., & Oko, K. (2012). Evidence for urban design and public health policy and practice: Space syntax metrics and neighborhood walking. Health & Place. ISSN: 1353-8292


Written by: Emma Chong, BKin (hons); Posted on March 20th, 2020

References:

1. Farkas, B., Wagner, D.J., Nettel-Aguirre, A., Friedenreich, C., McCormack, G.R., 2019. Evidence synthesis - a systematized literature review on the associations between neighbourhood built characteristics and walking among Canadian adults. Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can 39, 1–14..

2. Koohsari, M.J., Owen, N., Cerin, E., Giles-Corti, B., Sugiyama, T., 2016. Walkability and walking for transport: characterizing the built environment using space syntax. Int. J. Behav. Nutr. Phys. Act. 13, 121.


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