Street network morphology and active mobility to school: Applying space syntax methodology in Shiraz, Iran

Ali Soltani, Masoud Javadpoor, Fatemeh Shams, Milad Mehdizadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous research has found that built environment features (e.g., density, diversity and design) influence children's mode of transportation choice during school excursions. However, little is known about how and to what extent neighbourhood street morphology impacts students' commuting patterns. Methods: We studied the commuting patterns of children from 18 primary schools in three distinct urban fabric zones (inner, middle, and outer) in Shiraz, Iran. Parents with children in primary grades of 1–6 (n = 1503) were chosen to report on their children's school journey diaries. To examine street network layout, five well-known indices based on the Space Syntax methodology were used: Connectivity, Integration, Control, Intelligibility, and Choice. In order to select a local catchment area for each individual student, an inventory GIS model was created. Results: Intelligibility and Integration are found to have a positive association with students' walking distances of 400 and 800 m among local morphological elements. Students are more likely to stroll when the space's readability, continuity, and coherence improve. Control and Choice, on the other hand, had a detrimental influence on the walking of students. Conclusion: Active mobility to school is associated with urban layout characteristics among Iranian Students, especially within a radius of 800 m. This study discovered that increasing the movement potential of space within an 800 m radius had a greater impact on a child's ability to walk than increasing the movement potential of space within a 400 m radius, and that the Integration (R3), Choice (R3), and Intelligence of the street network within an 800 m radius of students' homes was linked to better walking between home and school. Improving the readability, cohesion, and spatial continuity of the local street network might boost their propensity to walk to school.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101493
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Active travel
  • Children
  • Shiraz
  • Space syntax
  • Street network morphology
  • Walking


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