Join NCTSPM for this Transportation Speaker Series event, featuring Dr. Daniel A. Rodriguez, Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Community Design and Adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Rodriguez will be speaking on the topic of "The Path Taken: Built Environment and Walking Route Choices".
Studying the paths that pedestrian take is important to refine our understanding of what motivates and facilitates active travel modes. In his talk, Profesor Rodríguez will present a study of the influence of the built environment on pedestrian path selection among adolescent girls. Portable global positioning system units, accelerometers, and travel diaries were used to identify the origin, destination, and walking paths of girls in San Diego, California, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. An inventory of the built environment was used to characterize the built environment of paths taken and not taken. Route-level variables covering four key conceptual built environment categories (incivilities, destinations, functionality, and safety) were used in the analysis of path choice. As expected, shorter distance had the strongest positive association with path choice. However, well-maintained sidewalks, the presence of a greenway or trail, of pedestrian safety infrastructure, and of destinations along a path were also consistently positively associated with path choice. The results suggest that it may be possible to encourage pedestrians to walk farther by providing high-quality and stimulating routes. Implications for city and transportation planning will be discussed.
Daniel A. Rodríguez is Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Community Design in the Department of City and Regional Planning, Director of the Center for Sustainable Community Design, a unit within the Institute for the Environment, and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research focuses on the reciprocal relationship between the built environment and transportation, and its effects on the environment and health. He has authored 90 peer-reviewed publications and co-authored the book Urban Land Use Planning (University of Illinois Press). In addition to his academic work, Dr. Rodríguez has consulted with numerous city and national governments on sustainable mobility and urban development throughout Latin America, Africa, China, and the U.S.