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Transportation sources account for a large proportion of the pollutants found in most urban areas. Also, transportation activity and intensity appear likely to contribute to the risk of respiratory disease occurrence. This research investigates the impacts of transportation, urban design and socioeconomic characteristics on the risk of air pollution-related respiratory diseases in two of the biggest MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) in the US, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Los Angeles at the block group (BG) level, by considering the US Environmental Protection Agency’s respiratory hazard quotient (RHQ) as the dependent variable. The researchers identify thirty candidate indicators of disease risk from previous studies and use them as independent variables in the model. The study applies a three-step modeling including Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Ordinary Least Square (OLS) and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) to reach the final model. The results of this study demonstrate strong spatial correlations in the variability in both MSAs which help explain the impact of the indicators such as socioeconomic characteristics, transit access to jobs, and automobile access on the risk of respiratory diseases. The populations living in areas with higher transit access to jobs in urbanized areas and greater automobile access in more rural areas appear more prone to respiratory diseases after controlling for demographic characteristics.

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TRCLC 17-09