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There is growing evidence that communities can be designed to support physical activity, but it is important to understand whether neighborhood features related to health are also considered satisfactory by residents. The study aimed to determine if there is an association between perceived and objective neighborhood environment variables and neighborhood satisfaction. Adults (N = 1,726) were recruited from neighborhoods in two regions of the United States selected to vary on walkability and income. Perceived neighborhood environment was assessed using a validated scale, objective measures were constructed using geographic information system (GIS), and satisfaction was assessed using a 17-item survey. Participants reported greater satisfaction when they perceived their neighborhood as having greater pedestrian/traffic safety, crime safety, attractive aesthetics, access to destinations, diversity of destinations, park access, and lower residential density. Objective measures were not significant. The discrepant findings between perceived and objective environmental measures indicate that neighborhood satisfaction is a complex construct.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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