Influences of Built Environments on Walking and Cycling: Lessons from Bogota

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - track, planning - route design, policy - environment, mode - rail, mode - bike, mode - bike, mode - pedestrian, mode - pedestrian


Walkways, Walks, Walking, Pedestrian walkways, Paths, Footways, Design, Cycling paths, Cycling, Cycle tracks, Built environment, Bogota (Colombia), Bikeways, Bicycling, Bicycle trails, Bicycle routes, Bicycle paths


Bogota, Colombia, is well known for its sustainable urban transport systems, including an extensive network of bike lanes and set-aside street space for recreational cyclists and pedestrians on Sundays and holidays, called Ciclovia ("cycleway"). This paper examines how such facilities along with other attributes of the built environment—urban densities, land-use mixes, accessibility, and proximity to transit—are associated with walking and cycling behavior as well as Ciclovi­a participation. The authors find that whereas road facility designs, like street density, connectivity, and proximity to Ciclovi­a lanes, are associated with physical activity, other attributes of the built environment, like density and land-use mixtures, are not. This is likely because most neighborhoods in built-up sections of Bogota evolved during a time when non-automobile travel reigned supreme, meaning they are uniformly compact, mixed in their land-use composition, and have comparable levels of transport accessibility. Thus facility designs are what sway nonmotorized travel, not generic land-use attributes of neighborhoods.