The impact of perceived racism on walking behavior during the COVID-19 lockdown

Liang Ma, Yage Liu, Jason Cao, Runing Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has had a significant impact on people's travel behavior. The level of this impact has been unevenly distributed among different population groups. The recent rise in anti-Asian racism implies that Asians have faced increased stress during the pandemic. As a result, the impact on their travel behavior is likely to differ from other ethnic groups. We examined this hypothesis by focusing on the impact of the pandemic on walking behavior. We collected survey data in Melbourne, Australia, during the pandemic lockdown, and analyzed the data using a Structural Equation Model approach. The results suggest that Asians experienced a significantly higher level of discrimination than other racial groups and were less likely to increase walking than White people. We also found that neighborhood cohesion helped alleviate perceived discrimination and promote walking. This study offers new insights into the role of racism in travel behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103335
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Number: 42171190 ) and the McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellowships Program of the University of Melbourne.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • COVID-19
  • Equity
  • Racism
  • Social cohesion
  • Walking behavior


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