Navigation Links
If we build 'walkable' neighborhoods, will people walk?
Date:6/25/2010

Edmontonians love their cars. In fact, 77 percent of us make all our trips by car. So if we know that it's healthier to walk, will developing more walkable neighbourhoods help to break the habit and get us walking to the store instead?

Researcher Marianne Clark in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation set out to investigate the factors that influence the decisions made by key stakeholders involved in neighbourhood development. She interviewed 17 stakeholders in neighbourhood development, including public health and municipal employees, city councilors, and private sector stakeholders including land developers and food retailers.

"We asked about their definition of a healthy neighbourhood. What they thought their role was; what facilitated their efforts to build healthy neighbourhoods and what barriers they experienced," says Clark. "We also wanted to know about 'food security' in essence the importance of the proximity of grocery stores with affordable healthy food choices."

"There were varying views among stakeholders as to whether walkable neighbourhoods are really going to make that much of a difference in making people active," says Clark. "While municipal employees and public health officials believed deeply in the value of these neighbourhoods, developers generally thought the extent of their responsibility was limited to market and consumer demands. They were also sceptical of the notion of 'if you built it, they will walk.' According to developers, it's up to the individual whether they choose to walk or not, regardless of the design of the neighbourhood, but they also acknowledged that our social norms and customs are very entrenched in car culture."

Private sector stakeholders said that people generally see success as having a single-family home. "To create affordable housing," notes Clark, "you have to build in the suburbs. There's a social hierarchy thing going on that may not change or disappear just because neighbourhoods are built more walkable or dense. There's also the car culture and the consumer culture (to contend with.")

"Car dependency/reliance" the need to be able to drive everywhere easily from home, was mentioned by all stakeholders interviewed, as pervasive in Edmonton, notes Clark. Land developers also noted Edmonton's cold climate and plenty of space to keep pushing the boundaries of Edmonton, also lent to the pervasive car culture.

Budget was another commonly-cited constraint.

In a surprise finding, Clark says, "People's access to good, healthy food, such as at affordable grocery stores was not generally perceived as a problem. Edmonton has a very diverse range of socio-economic status (SES) neighbourhoods and populations. (This fact) was overlooked by most stakeholders, but city councilors were more aware and spoke to it most directly."

What all stakeholders agreed on was that to build neighbourhoods so they were conducive to healthy, active lifestyles involved collaboration from all stakeholders when neighbourhood developments were in the planning stages.

Notes Clark," There are lingering tensions about what the end results of these neighbourhoods might actually be; where the responsibilities lie in terms of public and private sectors. That question is more complicated than what we've thought it was before.

"When we look at this issue, though, we need to look at the broader societal issues. We may be nave to think that if we build these great neighbourhoods that everything's going to change and everyone's going to starting walking more and be more healthy," says Clark.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jane Hurly
jane.hurly@ualberta.ca
780-492-6821
University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Morehead Presents Webinar on “Building Employee Engagement in a University Healthcare Environment”
2. ACS webinar features tips for finding and building a career in the food and flavor industries
3. BridgeGate and Information Builders form Strategic Partnership to Extend Integration Capability for Healthcare and Government Markets
4. Report: AdvaCALCalcium Builds Bone Best
5. Doctor Building Nutritarian Army to Fight Disease
6. 60-Day Free Community Confidence Building and Self-Defense Training
7. IBM Chosen to Build System for Electronic Health Records in Manitoba for Improved Patient Care
8. Ted Kennedy - Healthcare Rest in Peace Memorial Protest at Senate Russell Building
9. Former Hospital and Office Buildings in Mesquite, Texas, up for Sealed Bid Auction from Sperry Van Ness Accelerated Marketing
10. Infinity Technology, Inc. Acquires Build My Own Site, Inc.
11. Wounded Vets, CAREER Counselors Gather in Washington as Obama Announces Afghanistan Troop Buildup
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to ... and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are also: ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in southern ... home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to create ... health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight years. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP ... the recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare ... City on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Women-owned ... Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best and Brightest. OnSite Wellness ... on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Henry ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Vohra Chief Medical Officer ... physician colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors and other clinicians at various events ... Care." , "At many of these conferences we get to educate other physicians, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... and Consulting, LLC , and named its founder as ... in Tennessee , will operate under ... EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care partners to include ... "In an interoperable world, technology delivers ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Fla. , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens ... company formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime ... its new brand, which included the unveiling of new ... , as well as at a few other ... the new brand to patients, some of whom will ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... The Rebound mobile app is poised to become ... tide of prescription drug addiction. The app empowers users to ... stepping down their dosage in a safe, controlled manner while ... the first 100,000 people to sign up will enjoy 3 ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: