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Journal Article


Hall CM, Ram Y. Int. J. Biometeorol. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Department of Tourism Studies, Ashkelon Academic College, Ben Zvi 12, 78211, Ashkelon, Israel.


(Copyright © 2019, International Society of Biometeorology, Publisher Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






Walking is an important outdoor recreational and tourism activity, both in natural surroundings and in urban settings. Walkability is the extent to which the built environment promotes walking, and addresses issues such as comfort, connectivity, safety and aesthetic values. The paper explores a relatively overlooked domain of recreation- and tourism-related walkability: the extent to which weather and climatic conditions are incorporated into assessments of walkability and their influence on walking behaviour. Following a discussion of the assessment of walkability, the results of a scoping review of weather- and climate-related variables in walkability articles published up to June 2018 are presented. The review indicates there is little research on walkability from a tourist perspective, although there is substantial interest in walking for leisure and recreation. Four major themes were identified. The descriptive theme focuses on the general importance of weather and climate to walkability; the passive analyses the weather and climate conditions as barriers to, or as promoters of, walking; proactive studies refer to adapting to and managing weather, such as provision of shade or snow-clearing. The proactive perspective gains less attention than the passive analysis. Finally, statistical controlling was only employed by a minority of studies that adjusted their results to the impacts of weather conditions. The work concludes that the sub-field has been poorly served with respect to concept and variable definition and consistency of use mean that present knowledge is of limited scientific value. Strategies for future research are suggested.

Language: en


Leisure walking; Outdoor recreation; Physical activity; Tourist walking; Walkability


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