2015 Urban Development – Neighbourhood Characteristics Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information on how adults aged 18 and over living in Halton Region rate their neighbourhood for walking for leisure, and for reasons other than leisure. The report also provides information on what characteristics would be very or somewhat important in their ideal neighbourhood.

Background

Walking is a form of physical activity that can help individuals stay both physically and mentally healthy. It is important that each neighbourhood and community be walkable so that residents can receive the health and social benefits walking provides. Walkable communities can facilitate physical activity, social interaction, and increase access to services. A 2012 survey of residents in the Greater Toronto Area found that individuals who live in more walkable neighbourhoods report more walking, greater public transit use, less driving and healthier weights compared to those living in less walkable communities.

It is important to plan and design neighbourhoods that eliminate any barriers to walking. Communities must increase access to safe and convenient places to walk for individuals of all ages and abilities. Understanding what characteristics residents deem ideal in their community is the first step in taking action to creating walkable neighbourhoods.

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

Walking in the Neighbourhood For Leisure Purposes

Trends Over Time

  • In 2015, 59% of Halton adults reported their neighbourhood as excellent, 27% as very good, 12% as good, 3%* as fair and 1%* as poor or very poor, for walking for leisure purposes.
  • From 2010 to 2015 the percentage of adults in Halton who reported their neighbourhood as very good for walking for leisure purposes decreased from 33% to 27% and this decrease was statistically significant.
  • There were no significant differences in the percentage of adults who rated their neighbourhood as excellent, good, fair, poor or very poor for walking for leisure purposes between 2010 and 2015.

Sex

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for leisure purposes.

Age

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by age in the percentage of Halton adults who reported their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for leisure purposes.

Municipality

  • In 2015, adults in Burlington and Oakville were more likely than adults in Halton Hills to report their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for leisure purposes. These difference were statistically significant.

Income

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for leisure purposes.

Education

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adults who reported their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for leisure purposes.

Walking in the Neighbourhood For Non-Leisure Purposes

Trends Over Time

  • In 2015, 33% of Halton adults reported their neighbourhood as excellent, 28% as very good, 22% as good, 10% as fair and 8% as poor or very poor for walking for purposes other than leisure.
  • There were no significant differences in the percentage of adults who rated their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, good, fair, poor or very poor for walking for non-leisure purposes between 2010 and 2015.

Sex

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for purposes other than leisure.

Age

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by age in the percentage of Halton adults who reported their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for purposes other than leisure.

Municipality

  • In 2015, adults in Burlington, Oakville, and Milton were more likely than adults in Halton Hills to report their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for purposes other than leisure. These difference were statistically significant when comparing Burlington, Oakville, and Milton to Halton Hills.

Income

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for purposes other than leisure.

Education

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adults who reported their neighbourhood as excellent, very good, or good for walking for purposes other than leisure.

Importance of Neighbourhood Characteristics

  • In 2015, 94% of Halton adults reported that having interconnected walkways and pathways in their ideal neighbourhood was very or somewhat important.
  • In 2015, 93% of Halton adults reported that being able to walk to stores and restaurants in their ideal neighbourhood was very or somewhat important.
  • In 2015, 94% of Halton adults reported that having public open spaces and parks in their ideal neighbourhood was very or somewhat important.
  • There were no significant differences in the percentage of adults who rated these characteristics as very or somewhat important for their ideal neighbourhood between 2010 and 2015.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. n.d. Step it Up: A Partners Guide to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. Accessed September 2016 (external PDF)
  2. Toronto Public Health. 2012. The Walkable City: Neighbourhood Design and Preferences, Travel Choices and Health. Accessed September 2016 (external PDF)