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:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... and development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, today announced that ... set up in 2006 as a non-profit organization to unite pharmaceutical and healthcare ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Healthcare is in flux. ... advocates for the mass media launching of story movements to highlight what's most ... their unfortunate experiences; such a movement can generate the network power to improve ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Peter Zipp ... in and around the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, is announcing a charity event ... mission of the Homeless Youth Connection is to promote community awareness of the ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... DrugDev again demonstrated ... it is one of the early adopters completing EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Certification from the ... provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Silhouette Instalift is ... by smoothing and tightening the skin of the face to create more youthful ... aging with very little downtime, Silhouette Instalift is a novel, minimally invasive facial ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- A Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant has ... to Phoenix -based NeuroEM Therapeutics, Inc. ... will seek to determine an optimal set of treatment ... to treat Alzheimer,s Disease. The grant will also investigate ... other neurologic disorders such as Parkinson,s Disease and PTSD. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... in the United States will continue in 2017, say ... December 2016 Semiannual Economic Forecast. Expectations are for a ... as indicated in the monthly ISM ® ... is optimistic about growth in 2017, with revenues expected ... sector indicates that 14 of its industries will see ...
(Date:12/8/2016)...  Hanson Research, an innovative leader in the ... testing instruments for the pharmaceutical industry, announced today ... ("Teledyne"). The move is designed to deepen investments ... as well as expand resources for further market ... services. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161208/446988LOGO ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: