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:5/27/2017)... Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... Canadian senior citizens who visit a doctor for colds or respiratory issues that are ... note that excessive time pressure on doctors may be largely responsible for the problem ...
(Date:5/27/2017)... Rosa, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2017 , ... ... cause for concern, but a new study from the Osteoarthritis Initiative shows ... to developing knee osteoarthritis. Knowing this in advance may give doctors the opportunity to ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 ... ... is pleased to announce a new educational seminar to focus on current legislative ... Regulatory News(LEARN) seminar will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, and will ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Boar’s Head Brand®, one of the ... Day entertaining that are sure to satisfy your guests’ flavor cravings, while adding ... cheeses featured in these refreshingly balanced recipes are packed with flavor, creating the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House ... focusing on the Peace Agreements being discussed by President Donald Trump and the rest ... to try to speed up peace talks in the continuous battle between Israel and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/8/2017)... May 8, 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO)., ... ("WRB"), a health care service center company based ... WRB specializes in relationship management programs for leading pharmaceutical ... WRB will join Envoy Health ... services for manufacturers, biotech firms, and other service companies. ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... Tenn. , May 4, 2017  A ... Infection Control, Ultraviolet-C light as a ... Tru-D SmartUVC,s ability to reduce bioburden on anesthesia ... bioburden reduction on high-touch, complex medical equipment surfaces ... surgical infections. "This study further validates ...
(Date:5/4/2017)...   BioLife Solutions , Inc. (NASDAQ: ... proprietary clinical grade hypothermic storage and ... announced that the Company,s first quarter 2017 financial results ... 11, 2017, and that the Company will host a ... that afternoon. Management will provide an overview of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: