Critical factors influencing the comfort evaluation for recreational walking in urban street environments

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Walking has been actively advocated as a simple and effective means to boost individuals' physical activity levels. Comfort, as one of walking needs, is also the major objectives for many street design guidelines and walking audit tools. However, a few studies only identified the major environmental factors in a piecemeal manner without providing an integrated view on pedestrian comfort for recreational walking. This study aimed to identify the major micro- and built environmental factors and reveal their relative importance. 420 questionnaire responses with concurrently monitored micro-environmental conditions were analyzed to formulate a path model that portrayed the interrelationships between pedestrian comfort, and perceptual and objectively measured street built and micro-environmental characteristics. Our results showed that pedestrian comfort could be directly evaluated by pedestrians' satisfaction of built environment, thermal sensation, perceived air quality and loudness. The influence of satisfaction of built environment alone was found to be comparable to the aggregate influences of thermal sensation, perceived air quality and loudness. Thermal sensation, perceived air quality and loudness were found to mediate the associations between objectively measured parameters and individual recreational walking comfort respectively. The findings provide valuable insights for urban planners to improve the comfort level of recreational walking in streets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103286
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Environmental perception
  • Pedestrian comfort
  • Recreational walking
  • Urban streetscape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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