Untangling the relationships among residential environment, destination choice, and daily walk accessibility

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, land use - impacts, ridership - behaviour, planning - surveys


Structural equation model, Built environment, Walk accessibility, Mediation


Accessibility to opportunities is strongly correlated with travel behaviors. This research, in particular, centered on individual daily accessibility, which quantifies the total number of opportunities of each type that can be reached within a certain travel time from the destinations an individual visited in a day. Existing studies rarely focused on the interrelationships among people’s socio-demographic characteristics, residential built environment, destination choice, and daily accessibility simultaneously. Using survey data from California, the present study develops a daily accessibility indicator summarizing the individual daily total number of opportunities that is reachable within a given travel time based on individual daily activities. Subsequently, a structural equation model jointly estimates the relationships among these factors showing that people’s social status and the residential built environment influence directly daily accessibility to retail opportunities significantly. The residential built environment has no significant direct impact on daily ocean-view open space accessibility. Both social status and residential built environment have a significant indirect impact on daily accessibility via the mediator number of distinct destinations showing the importance of designing cities with increased destination variety that are better served by non-motorized networks and public transportation.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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