Archives: Land-use & planning

 

Owen 2004 - "Understanding the Environmental Influences on Walking: Review and Research Agenda"

Owen, Neville; Humpel, Nancy; et al.
"Understanding the Environmental Influences on Walking: Review and Research Agenda"
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
July 2004; vol.27, n.1; pp.67-76.
On the Web
Relevance: medium

The authors review eighteen studies and conclude that the early evidence is promising.  The studies show that aesthetic attributes, convenience of walking facilities (sidewalks, trails), accessibility of destinations, and perceptions about traffic are associated with utilitarian walking.  However, better theoretical models and more studies, especially ones that examine a causal relationship, are needed.

 

Ewing 2003 - "Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity, and Mortality"

Ewing, Reid; Schmid, Tom, et al
"Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity, and Mortality"
American Journal of Health Promotion
September/October 2003; vol.18, n.1; pp.47-57
On the Web
Relevance: high

The authors estimated the impact of a county and metropolitan area sprawl index on obesity, physical activity, and related diseases. They found that the county  index significantly influenced the number of minutes spent in leisure-time walking, average BMI, obesity status, and prevalence of hypertension.

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Frank 2001 - "The Built Environment and Human Activity Patterns"

Frank, Lawrence D; Englke, Peter O
"The Built Environment and Human Activity Patterns: Exploring the Impacts of Urban Form on Public Health"
Journal of Planning Literature
November 2001; v.17, n.2; pp.202-218
On the Web
Relevance: low

Frank and Engelke reviews current literature to explore how physical activity affects public health and how urban form affects physical activity. The article is a good introduction to the subject with references to many useful studies (also reviewed in this  lit review), but a few of which are outdated.

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Schilling 2005 - “The Public Health Roots of Zoning: In Search of Active Living’s Legal Genealogy”

Schilling, Joseph;  Linton , Leslie S.
“The Public Health Roots of Zoning: In Search of Active Living’s Legal Genealogy”
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
February 2005; v.28, n.2, Supplement 2; pp.96-104.
On the Web
Relevance: low

Schilling and Linton give a good overview of zoning, its origin in public health, and how to adapt zoning to today's public health problems.

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Saelens 2003 - “Neighborhood-Based Differences in Physical Activity: An Environment Scale Evaluation”

Saelens, Brian E.; Sallis, James F.; Black, Jennifer B.; Chen, Diana.
“Neighborhood-Based Differences in Physical Activity: An Environment Scale Evaluation”
American Journal of Public Health

September 2003; v.93, n.9.
On the Web
Relevance: high

Saelens et al conducted a small preliminary study using accelerometers and surveys to analyze how activity levels and body mass indexes differ between two neighborhoods: one with high-walkability, one with low-walkability.  They found that residents of high-walkability neighborhoods walked more for errands, engaged in more moderate to vigorous physical activity, and were less likely to be overweight.  Interestingly, this study suggests that walkability primarily affects walking for errands but not walking for exercise.

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Powell 2003 - "Places to Walk: Convenience and Regular Physical Activity"

Powell, Kenneth E.; Martin, Linda M. ; Chowdhury, Pranesh P.
“Places to Walk: Convenience and Regular Physical Activity.”
American Journal of Public Health.
September 2003; v.93, n.9; pp. 1519-1521.
On the Web
Relevance: low

By a telephone survey study participants were asked to name safe and convenient places to walk.  Most participants could name at least one place and those who could name more places were more likely to be physically active.

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Burchell 2003 - "Conventional Development Versus Managed Growth: The Costs of Sprawl"

Burchell RW and Mukherji S.
“Conventional Development Versus Managed Growth: The Costs of Sprawl.”  American Journal of Public Health.
December 2003; v.91, n.9; pp1534-1540.1
On the Web
relevance: medium

Using a mathematical model to compare the effects of sprawl versus compact development, the authors find that sprawl requires converting more undeveloped land and building more roads and water/sewer infrastructure.  Sprawl also leads to higher pubic service costs and housing costs.

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Leyden 2003 - "Social Capital and the Built Environment: The Importance of Walkable Neighborhoods"

Leyden, Kevin M.
“Social Capital and the Built Environment: The Importance of Walkable Neighborhoods” American Journal of Public Health
September 2003; v.93, n.9; pp. 1546-1551.
On the web
Relevance: high

Leyden investigated the relationship between neighborhood design and residents' social capital using a household survey in Galway, Ireland.  People who lived in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods had higher levels of social capital, and were more likely to know their neighbors, participate politically, trust others, and be socially engaged, than those who lived in car-oriented suburbs.

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