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Cultural Differences in Children's One Mile Mobility

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The journey to school in the morning and children's journeys in the afternoon can often constitute the first/last mile of their parents' daily travel patterns. The need to drop off and collect children has been shown to influence parent's travel mode choices in favour of car usage. Alternatively, promoting children's active and independent mobility, in particular decoupling children's and parental mobility, can help to mitigate the first and last mile problem. This paper focuses on children in urban neighbourhoods to reflect on the cultural differences and social norms for children's mobility. Promoting children's active and independent mobility requires consideration of culturally based parental attitudes and awareness of the value of children's mobility. This can precipitate several short- and long-term changes. Short-term effects can be achieved by decoupling parent's and children's travel, opening wider options for both and further establishing a virtuous cycle by reducing local traffic impacts. Longer-term changes include leveraging social and cultural components as part of the toolkit for creating social and physical environments oriented to pedestrianism and by creating mobility capital oriented to active travel, with children educating parents and growing into active adults themselves.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-12-01

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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