Although the Coronavirus has had substantial negative impacts on our lives, the surge in walking activities during the pandemic provides an unprecedented opportunity for planners to transform cities to be healthier and more sustainable. The changes in walking behaviour could affect attitudes towards walking, which would influence walking demand in the post-pandemic period. This impact, however, might vary across neighbourhoods with different levels of deprivation due to their own characteristics. This potential inequity issue should be examined to make more resilient cities in the future where the risk of outbreaks is high. We conducted a survey (GlaMAS) and utilised statistical methods to examine the extent to which the attitudes towards walking changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how its effect varies across neighbourhoods with different levels of deprivation. In addition, we investigated how the changes in attitudes are related to future walking demand. Our results show that residents in less deprived areas tend to have affirmative attitudes towards walking due to the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially leading to an inequity issue. In addition, attitudinal changes are significantly associated with the future walking demand, and it could result in health inequity between neighbourhoods in the future.
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Hong, J., McArthur, D. & Lee, J. 2023, 'Neighbourhood deprivation, changes in walking attitudes during the COVID-19 pandemic and walking demand in the post-pandemic period', Cities, 141, article no: 104517. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2023.104517