Perceived importance and objective measures of built environment walkability of a university campus
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The built environment plays an important role to shape physical activities. On such a premise, the obesity gene in the uninviting neighborhood structure could cause environmental-induced inactivity, particularly in walking. Existing walkability measurements only consider facilities features and potential destinations, but fail to count for built environment design aspects, people’s preferences or other walking purposes. This study designed a walking preference survey to identify and measure the perceived importance upon built environment factors. Survey results were analyzed with modified Analytic Hierarchy Process (MAHP) and varied statistics and geographic information systems (GIS) methods. The research combines the perceived importance and objective measures into a factor-weighted index to quantify walkability. A case study at a university campus illustrated the detailed variation in the walkability. Survey results speak for people’s walking preferences, such as sidewalk availability, flat slope and green space in amenities. The limitation and extension of the research are also discussed.