Does urban form matter in solo and joint activity engagement?

Yingling Fan, Asad J. Khattak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This research examines how the residential built environment relates to residents' solo versus joint engagement in shopping, dining, and recreational/fitness activities. Using data from the 2006 Greater Triangle Travel Survey in North Carolina, individual activity engagement is innovatively measured using two indicators: total time spent alone and total time jointly spent with household members on a specific non-work activity type. The impact of the built environment on non-work activity engagement is then estimated using Heckman sample selection models along with a seemingly unrelated estimation system. We find that residents living closer to parks and department stores on average are more likely to participate in out-of-home recreation and shopping activities. A comparison of coefficients in solo versus joint engagement models shows that park accessibility is much more important to household joint participation than to solo participation in recreational activities. The research generates new knowledge on how the built environment may influence solo versus joint activity engagement differently. The findings are useful to urban planners who are interested in reviving local economy and promoting active living/social interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-209
Number of pages11
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 30 2009


  • Activity engagement
  • Built environment
  • Group decision-making
  • Time allocation
  • Urban form


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