Built environments for physical activity: a longitudinal descriptive analysis of Sao Paulo city, Brazil

Inaian Pignatti Teixeira, João Paulo dos Anjos Souza Barbosa, Ligia Vizeu Barrozo, Adriano Akira Ferreira Hino, Priscila Missaki Nakamura, Douglas Roque Andrade, Suzanne Mavoa, Gavin Turrell, Rodrigo Siqueira Reis, Alex Antonio Florindo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    City policies and plans play an important role in promoting physical activity through changes in the urban design and transportation systems. The objectives of this study were to describe longitudinal changes in the built environment relevant to leisure-time physical activity and active travel in Sao Paulo city, Brazil, between 2015 and 2020; to describe these changes according to regions of the city, census tracts’ income, and buffer zones around the residences of participants in a cohort. Using data from public online libraries, cross-checked with the specific municipal and state secretariats, the following were measured: public squares, parks, sports facilities, community clubs, outdoor gyms, bike paths, train or subway stations, bus terminals, and primary health care units. To quantify these attributes around the residences, four different buffers: 500 m and 1000 m radial buffers and 500 m and 1000 m network buffers were adopted. An increase was observed in outdoor gyms (+109.6%), bike paths (+67.7%), train or subway stations, bus terminals (+15.4%), sports facilities (+12.0%), and public squares (+8.7%). However, the changes differed according to the region, census tract income, and residential area. The results can serve to foster a discussion on the effects of local policies being executed. In addition, this study highlights important disparities in cities through the different levels evaluated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-147
    Number of pages11
    JournalCities and Health
    Issue number1
    Early online date26 Oct 2022
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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