From Walkable Communities to Active Lifestyles: Exploring Causal Pathways through a Case Study in Austin, Texas Academic Article uri icon


  • Walkable communities have been associated with improved physical activity, but the underlying causal pathways and related social benefits are understudied. This retrospective prepost survey study ( N = 446) examined how moving into a walkable community in Austin, Texas, affected residents neighborhood walking, social interactions, and neighborhood cohesion using structural equation modeling. Results showed direct and indirect (mediated by environmental barriers or social support) impacts of neighborhood environments and residential self-selection on neighborhood walking; influences of pre-move conditions on their post-move counterparts; and positive associations between neighborhood walking, social interactions, and neighborhood cohesion. Findings demonstrated complex pathways for walkable environments to promote physical activity and social health.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhu, X., Yu, C., Lee, C., & Lu, Z.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Zhu, Xuemei||Yu, Chia-Yuan||Lee, Chanam||Lu, Zhipeng

publication date

  • September 2023