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:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Greener Hydroponics is now offering a ... frequently used by professional organic farmers and nurseries according to Sales Manager Joe Steele ... fabric pots. Our goal is to offer wholesale level pricing and ultra-fast shipping for ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Illinois (PRWEB) , ... April ... ... the leading provider of enterprise Data Center Infrastructure Management solutions, announces today ... focuses on feature enhancements in the area of capacity management and optimization, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... ... reminds us that May is National Stroke Awareness Month. According to the Centers for ... the United States; someone has one every 40 seconds. Annually, almost 800,000 strokes occur ... A stroke is when blood flow to the brain is blocked or when a ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... A first-time look at workers’ compensation claims in ... Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) announced, and that costs per claim were ... Kentucky, 16th Edition , found that indemnity costs per claim and benefit delivery expenses ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... it will demonstrate its leading secure mobility workstation suite, SentinelSecure™, at MobileIron’s 6th ... Hilton Union Square, this will be MobileIron’s 6th Mobile First Conference and will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016  The blood testing market ... dollars, according to Kalorama Information and The Freedonia Group ... and nucleic acid testing.  The healthcare research firm said ... in developing blood collection stations and in improving testing ... Kalorama Information,s report, Blood Testing Market in ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016   Acsis , a leading ... leading IT market research and advisory firm IDC has ... IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Pharmaceutical Track and Trace Software 2016 ... provides an assessment of the capabilities and business strategies ... software market. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160427/360791LOGO ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , Schweiz, April 27, 2016 ... Sachs CEO Forums in Zürich gab Strekin ... führenden Wirkstoffkandidaten STR001 zur Erhaltung des Resthörvermögens ... wurde, bekannt. Für die umfassende Phase-II-Doppelblindstudie mit ... Frankreich angeworben. STR001 wird während der Operation ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: