Walking behaviour and patterns of perceived access to neighbourhood destinations in older adults from a low-density (Brisbane, Australia) and an ultra-dense city (Hong Kong, China)

Ernest Boakye-Dankwa, Andrea Nathan, Anthony Barnett, Lucy Busija, Ruby S.Y. Lee, Nancy Pachana, Gavin Turrell, Ester Cerin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Hong Kong older adults have been found to accumulate high levels of walking compared to their Westerns counterparts living in low-density cities. These differences in walking could be attributed to differences in destination accessibility. However, between-city differences in older adults' walking and perceived destination accessibility have not been quantified. This study examined differences in walking and patterns of perceived destination accessibility within 5-, 10-, and 20-minute walk from home between older adults aged ≥65 years in Brisbane and Hong Kong. Methods: We used data from epidemiological studies conducted in Brisbane (n = 793) and Hong Kong (n = 484) using comparable measures of perceived distance to 12 destinations and weekly minutes of walking for transport and recreation. Regression models accounting for neighbourhood-level clustering were used to estimate between-city differences in walking and access to specific destinations. Latent class analyses were used to identify city-specific patterns of destination accessibility. Results: Hong Kong older adults accumulated significantly more minutes of walking than their Brisbane counterparts and also reported higher accessibility to most destinations. The between-city differences in percentage of older adults with access to a diversity of destinations were particularly large for shorter distances (5- and 10-minute walk from home). Conclusion: Low-density cities should provide ageing-friendly housing in the city centre with high levels of accessibility to relevant destinations and/or promote the implementation of urban planning policies that support the development of mixed land use and higher levels of residential density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Between-city differences
  • Distance to destinations
  • Latent class analysis
  • Transport and recreation walking

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