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Taking Up Cycling After Residential Relocation

Built Environment Factors

      Background

      To successfully stimulate cycling, it is necessary to understand the factors that facilitate or inhibit cycling. Little is known about how changes in the neighborhood environment are related to changes in cycling behavior.

      Purpose

      This study aimed to identify environmental determinants of the uptake of cycling after relocation.

      Methods

      The RESIDential Environment Project (RESIDE) is a longitudinal natural experiment of people moving into new housing developments in Perth (Western Australia). Self-reported usual transport and recreational cycling behavior, as well as self-reported and objective built environmental factors were measured before and after residential relocation. Participants who did not usually cycle at baseline in 2003–2004 were included in the study. Logistic regression models were used to relate changes in built environmental determinants to the probability of taking up cycling after relocation (2005–2006). Analyses were carried out in 2010–2011.

      Results

      At baseline, 90% (n=1289) of the participants did not cycle for transport and 86% (n=1232) did not cycle for recreation. After relocation, 5% of the noncyclists took up transport-related cycling, and 7% took up recreational cycling. After full adjustment, the uptake of transport-related cycling was determined by an increase in objective residential density (OR=1.54, 95% CI=1.04, 2.26) and self-reported better access to parks (OR=2.60, 95% CI=1.58, 4.27) and other recreation destinations (OR=1.57, 95% CI=1.12, 2.22). Commencing recreational cycling mostly was determined by an increase in objective street connectivity (OR=1.20, 95% CI=1.06, 1.35).

      Conclusions

      Changes in the built environment may support the uptake of cycling among formerly noncycling adults.
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