Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Rethinking the Contextual Factors Influencing Urban Mobility: A New Holistic Conceptual Framework

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Abstract:  Urbanisation, urban mobility (active travel), and public health continue to be three defining issues of the 21st century. Today, more than half of humanity lives in cities, a proportion that is expected to reach 70% by 2050. Not surprisingly, urbanisation has significant impacts on mobility, health, and well-being. Today’s cities struggle with health challenges such as those that are either a direct result of infectious and non-communicable diseases or issues related to violence and injuries. According to the World Health Organisation, the lack of suitable space in urban areas for physical activities and active living has turned cities into epicentres for diseases. The concept of urban mobility and its connection to health is not new. However, the ways through which a healthy city objective is achieved are poorly investigated in the academic literature. Accordingly, this article proposes a holistic conceptual framework by consolidating knowledge around factors impacting urban mobility by adopting a scoping review methodology to determine the field’s scope, coverage, and existing knowledge gap. To achieve the above objectives, 3,189 research articles and book chapters published between 2014 and 2021 were screened. A total of 92 studies were identified as eligible for inclusion in the scoping review. This approach revealed the importance of understanding urban mobility and healthy cities and of identifying and enacting associated enablers. Covid-19 has amplified the urgency of giving attention to these issues. The scoping review also showed a need for further research that investigates the future of urban mobility and healthy cities. A conceptual framework has been drawn from the literature to guide such future research.

Keywords:  healthy cities; social-ecological systems resilience theory; socio-economic factors; theory of planned behaviour; urban mobility; urbanisation; well-being



© Taha Chaiechi, Josephine Pryce, Emiel L. Eijdenberg, Simona Azzali. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.