Walking Culture in China
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CitationLu, Yingying. 2019. Walking Culture in China. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
AbstractDue to its potential significance to both individuals and society, walking as a type of transport mode or physical activity has been intensively discussed by scholars in urban planning and public health fields. However, the impact of culture on walking needs further research. This dissertation poses two questions: 1) What are the characteristics of the culture of walking in China? and 2) How does culture influence walking behavior? For this dissertation, culture is defined as the shared values in a social group. This dissertation uses a mixed-method research strategy to obtain a multi-perspective understanding and to allow triangulation between results. The data were collected through analyzing documents, observation, in-depth semi-structured interviews, and questionnaires recruited with non-random sampling approaches. Data analysis methods include content analysis, critical discourse analysis, the analysis of variance, and regressions. This dissertation finds that 1) Chinese culture has advocated walking in both ancient and modern times; 2) In Beijing, people commonly walk for physical health and other benefits such as mental health, communication, and observing the city, contributing to a culture that views walking as good; 3) urban residents in Beijing inherit the value that walking is good for physical health from traditional Chinese culture, while contemporary culture influences individuals through education, peer influence, and other incentives; and, 4) people with strong positive values about walking are likely to spend much time walking for either transport or leisure or both. This dissertation concludes that culture supports walking in China, and it influences walking by transmitting values. It implies that cultural strategies such as long-term publicity and education can be used to further strengthen this culture and thus encourage walking in Chinese cities.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42689386