Developing and validating an abbreviated version of the Microscale Audit for Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS-Abbreviated)

Kelli L. Cain, Kavita A. Gavand, Terry L. Conway, Carrie M. Geremia, Rachel A. Millstein, Lawrence D. Frank, Brian E. Saelens, Marc Adams, Karen Glanz, Abby C. King, James F. Sallis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose Macroscale built environment factors (e.g., street connectivity) are correlated with physical activity. Less-studied but more modifiable microscale elements (e.g., sidewalks) may also influence physical activity, but shorter audit measures of microscale elements are needed to promote wider use. This study evaluated the relation of an abbreviated 54-item streetscape audit tool with multiple measures of physical activity in four age groups. Methods We developed a 54-item version from the original 120-item Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS). Audits were conducted on 0.25–0.45 mile routes from participant residences toward the nearest nonresidential destination for children (N=758), adolescents (N=897), younger adults (N=1655), and older adults (N=367). Active transport and leisure physical activity were measured with surveys, and objective physical activity was measured with accelerometers. Items to retain from original MAPS were selected primarily by correlations with physical activity. Mixed linear regression analyses were conducted for MAPS-Abbreviated summary scores, adjusting for demographics, participant clustering, and macroscale walkability. Results MAPS-Abbreviated and original MAPS total scores correlated r=.94 The MAPS-Abbreviated tool was related similarly to physical activity outcomes as the original MAPS. Destinations and land use, streetscape and walking path characteristics, and overall total scores were significantly related to active transport in all age groups. Street crossing characteristics were related to active transport in children and older adults. Aesthetics and social characteristics were related to leisure physical activity in children and younger adults, and cul-de-sacs were related with physical activity in youth. Total scores were related to accelerometer-measured physical activity in children and older adults. Conclusion MAPS-Abbreviated is a validated observational measure for use in research. The length and related cost of implementation has been cited as a barrier to use of microscale instruments, so availability of this shorter validated measure could lead to more widespread use of streetscape audits in health research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-96
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Built environment
  • City planning
  • Direct observation
  • Physical activity
  • Walkability
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Transportation
  • Pollution
  • Safety Research
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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