How did local accessibility and active transport infrastructure contribute to well-being across socio-economic status during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Authors: Vincent Obry-Legros*, Polytechnique Montréal, Canada, Geneviève Boisjoly, Polytechnique Montréal, Canada, Kevin Manaugh, McGill University Montreal, Canada, Ugo Lachapelle, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada, Owen Waygood, Polytechnique Montréal, Canada
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Social Geography, Canada
Keywords: Well-being, Equity, Local accessibility, Active transport, Housing characteristics
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 33
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The travel and activity restrictions related to COVID-19 dramatically changed the lives and travel patterns of Canadians, with important implications for well-being. The ability to safely and comfortably “shelter in place” is a function of a combination of features of the built, natural, and social environments, therefore the lockdown has placed uneven burdens on different groups in society. Namely, with increased time spent at home, the impacts of housing conditions are increasingly visible. The perceived risks associated with the use of public transport also highlights the importance of nearby amenities accessible by active modes. This situation has shone a light on the already existing discrepancies across neighbourhoods and population groups in terms of local amenities, a high quality ‘active transport’ realm and housing conditions.

The objective of this study is to analyze the impacts of local accessibility, quality of active transport infrastructure, and presence of green and blue spaces, on individuals’ well-being and how this relationship is moderated by household characteristics. This is done through an on-line survey fielded in May and November 2020 that captures detailed information regarding respondents’ travel behaviour and activities during lockdown and their self-reported well-being, along with home location and housing characteristics. The data is combined with built environment variables developed by the research team. Understanding how different population groups experience the current lockdown, as well as how the existing variance in quality and type of neighborhood features across a region impacts different groups is essential to ensure more equitable responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abstract Information

This abstract is already part of a session. View the session here.

To access contact information login