Neighborhood built environments and cognition in later life

On Fung Chan, Yuqi Liu, Yingqi Guo, Shiyu Lu, Cheryl Hiu Kwan Chui, Hung Chak Ho, Yimeng Song, Wei Cheng, Rebecca Lai Har Chiu, Chris Webster, Terry Yat Sang Lum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Maintaining good cognition is crucial in later life. However, most existing research has focused on individual factors impacting cognition, and few studies have investigated the association between neighborhood built environment and older adults’ cognition. This study examined the association between neighborhood built environment and cognition among community-dwelling older adults and identified variations in this association between different age groups in the older population.

Methods: Data were derived from a cross-sectional survey of 1873 people aged 65 years and above in Hong Kong. We merged individual data from the survey with neighborhood built environment data based on community auditing and geographical information system. After controlling for individual covariates, we used multivariable linear regression to examine the association between neighborhood built environment and cognition.

Results: Residents aged 80 and younger in neighborhoods with a higher land-use mix and more public transport terminals exhibited better cognition. Only the number of community centers in a neighborhood was positively associated with cognition for people older than 80.

Conclusion: The built environment creates diverse impacts on different age groups among older adults. Our findings provide useful information for urban planners and policymakers for planning community facilities and built environments that consider the needs of different age groups within the older population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-474
Number of pages9
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Living environments
  • built environment
  • cognition
  • health outcomes
  • age-friendliness
  • cognitive functioning


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