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Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Influences of Built Environments on Walking and Cycling: Lessons from Bogotá

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Influences of Built Environments on Walking and Cycling: Lessons from Bogotá

Bogotá, Colombia, is well known for its sustainable urban transport systems, including an extensive network of bike lanes and set-aside street space for recreational cyclists and pedestrians on Sundays and holidays, called Ciclova (“cycleway”).

This paper examines how such facilities along with other attributes of the built environment-urban densities, land-use mixes, accessibility, and proximity to transit-are associated with walking and cycling behavior as well as Ciclova participation.

We find that whereas road facility designs, like street density, connectivity, and proximity to Ciclova lanes, are associated with physical activity, other attributes of the built environment, like density and land-use mixtures, are not. This is likely because most neighborhoods in built-up sections of Bogotá evolved during a time when non-automobile travel reigned supreme, meaning they are uniformly compact, mixed in their land-use composition, and have comparable levels of transport accessibility. Thus facility designs are what sway nonmotorized travel, not generic land-use attributes of neighborhoods.

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