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Changing Buildings, Changing Behavior

Changes to the built environment can create barriers to mobility. Changes can range from large-scale closures of roads or rail stations to smaller short-term changes in local environments. The University of Saskatchewan is characterized by a series of walkways and tunnels which connect buildings on campus and allow students and employees to move across campus without being exposed to the harshness or variability of winter. In the Fall of 2016, a critical walkway connecting the Departments of Agriculture, Engineering, and the main student parking lots was removed to accommodate the construction of a new building. The removal constitutes a natural experiment in the change in mobility for individuals forced to change behavior based on a change in the built environment. Leveraging WIFI-based indoor localization and GPS, the dynamics of adaptation can be studied.

Study Profile

Participation duration: 5 weeks

Sample size: 117 subjects

Data sources:

  • Surveys
  • Location information
  • Physical activity

Research Team

Scott Bell, Ph.D.
Department of Geography and Planning
University of Saskatchewan