The effect of moving to East Village, the former London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Athletes’ Village, on mode of travel (ENABLE London Study, a natural experiment).

Elizabeth S. Limb, Duncan S. Procter, Ashley R. Cooper, Angie S. Page, Claire M. Nightingale, Bina Ram, Aparna Shankar, Christelle Clary, Daniel Lewis, Steven Cummins, Anne Ellaway, Billie Giles-Corti, Peter H. Whincup, Alicja R. Rudnicka, Derek G. Cook, Christopher G. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Interventions to encourage active modes of travel (walking, cycling) may improve physical activity levels, but longitudinal evidence is limited and major change in the built environment / travel infrastructure may be needed. East Village (the former London 2012 Olympic Games Athletes Village) has been repurposed on active design principles with improved walkability, open space and public transport and restrictions on residential car parking. We examined the effect of moving to East Village on adult travel patterns.

One thousand two hundred seventy-eight adults (16+ years) seeking to move into social, intermediate, and market-rent East Village accommodation were recruited in 2013–2015, and followed up after 2 years. Individual objective measures of physical activity using accelerometry (ActiGraph GT3X+) and geographic location using GPS travel recorders (QStarz) were time-matched and a validated algorithm assigned four travel modes (walking, cycling, motorised vehicle, train). We examined change in time spent in different travel modes, using multilevel linear regresssion models adjusting for sex, age group, ethnicity, housing group (fixed effects) and household (random effect), comparing those who had moved to East Village at follow-up with those who did not.

Of 877 adults (69%) followed-up, 578 (66%) provided valid accelerometry and GPS data for at least 1 day (≥540 min) at both time points; half had moved to East Village. Despite no overall effects on physical activity levels, sizeable improvements in walkability and access to public transport in East Village resulted in decreased daily vehicle travel (8.3 mins, 95%CI 2.5,14.0), particularly in the intermediate housing group (9.6 mins, 95%CI 2.2,16.9), and increased underground travel (3.9 mins, 95%CI 1.2,6.5), more so in the market-rent group (11.5 mins, 95%CI 4.4,18.6). However, there were no effects on time spent walking or cycling.

Designing walkable neighbourhoods near high quality public transport and restrictions on car usage, may offer a community-wide strategy shift to sustainable transport modes by increasing public transport use, and reducing motor vehicle travel.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2020

Structured keywords

  • SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences


  • Built environment
  • Travel mode
  • Physical activity
  • Walking Cycling
  • Housing tenure


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