This study explores the effect of built environment characteristics on the walking habits of local residents using data obtained from the 2006 British Columbia Health and Wellness Survey. Regression analysis of 375 questionnaires collected from a random sample of residents in a Richmond, BC neighbourhood indicates that spatial access to retail establishments and recreational facilities are positively associated with walking. Given the study’s findings, it is suggested that the City of Richmond move forward with the implementation of key components of the new City Centre Area Plan that address retail and recreational space accessibility. On a broader scale, this study’s findings indicate that in order to create a built environment that is supportive of physical activity, municipal governments should provide easily accessible walking destinations such as retail and recreational spaces when planning new communities and when redeveloping existing areas.
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