Selling new neighborhoods as good for walking : issues for measuring self-selection

Nathan, Andrea, Wood, Lisa, & Giles-Corti, Billie (2013) Selling new neighborhoods as good for walking : issues for measuring self-selection. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 10(1), pp. 5-9.

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Background: Self-selection-whether individuals inclined to walk more seek to live in walkable environments-must be accounted for when studying built environment influences on walking. The way neighborhoods are marketed to future residents has the potential to sway residential location choice, and may consequently affect measures of self-selection related to location preferences. We assessed how walking opportunities are promoted to potential buyers, by examining walkability attributes in marketing materials for housing developments. Methods: A content analysis of marketing materials for 32 new housing developments in Perth, Australia was undertaken, to assess how walking was promoted in the text and pictures. Housing developments designed to be pedestrian-friendly (LDs) were compared with conventional developments (CDs). Results: Compared with CDs, LD marketing materials had significantly more references to 'public transport,' small home sites,' walkable parks/open space,' ease of cycling,' safe environment,' and 'boardwalks.' Other walkability attributes approached significance. Conclusion: Findings suggest the way neighborhoods are marketed may contribute to self-reported reasons for choosing particular neighborhoods, especially when attributes are not present at the time of purchase. The marketing of housing developments may be an important factor to consider when measuring self-selection, and its influence on the built environment and walking relationship.

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ID Code: 67181
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: built environment, community design, physical activity, content analysis, built environment, behavior
ISSN: 1543-3080
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Human Geography not elsewhere classified (160499)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Deposited On: 12 Feb 2014 01:29
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2014 07:25

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