Mixed-use developments may be especially promising settings for encouraging walking
and other types of physical activity.
This study examined the physical activity and travel behaviors of individuals before
and after they relocated to Atlantic Station, a mixed-use redevelopment community
in metropolitan Atlanta.
A survey study was conducted to compare the behaviors, experiences, and attitudes
of Atlantic Station residents before and after moving to a mixed-use neighborhood.
Data were collected in 2008 and 2009 and analyzed in 2010. Key dependent variables
were self-reported physical activity and travel behaviors including walking for recreation
and transport, automobile use, and use of public transportation.
Study participants included 101 adult residents of Atlantic Station, most of whom
were female, young, and well educated. There were significant increases in walking
for recreation or fitness (46%–54%; p<0.05) and walking for transportation (44%–84%; p<0.001) after moving into the mixed-use development. Respondents also reported reduced
automobile travel and increased time spent using public transportation after moving
to Atlantic Station. Because this study used individuals as their own controls, there
is more control over confounding lifestyle variables compared to cross-sectional studies
of individuals living in different neighborhoods.
Adults who move to a denser, mixed-use neighborhood increase their levels of walking
for both recreation and transportation, decrease their automobile travel, and increase
their use of public transportation.