Seattle, WA, United States
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Ewing R.,University of Utah | Greenwald M.,Lane Council of Governments | Greenwald M.,Urban Design 4 Health Inc. | Zhang M.,University of Texas at Austin | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Urban Planning and Development | Year: 2011

Current methods of traffic impact analysis, which rely on rates and adjustments from the Institute of Transportation Engineers, are believed to understate the traffic benefits of mixed-use developments (MXDs), leading to higher exactions and development fees than necessary and discouraging otherwise desirable developments. The purpose of this study is to create new methodology for more accurately predicting the traffic impacts of MXDs. Standard protocols were used to identify and generate data sets for MXDs in six large and diverse metropolitan regions. Data from household travel surveys and geographic information system (GIS) databases were pooled for these MXDs, and travel and built environmental variables were consistently defined across regions. Hierarchical modeling was used to estimate models for internal capture of trips within MXDs, walking and transit use on external trips, and trip length for external automobile trips. MXDs with diverse activities on-site are shown to capture a large share of trips internally, reducing their traffic impacts relative to conventional suburban developments. Smaller MXDs in walkable areas with good transit access generate significant shares of walk and transit trips, thus also mitigating traffic impacts. Centrally located MXDs, small and large, generate shorter vehicle trips, which reduces their impacts relative to outlying developments. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Frank L.D.,University of British Columbia | Saelens B.E.,Urban Design 4 Health Inc. | Chapman J.,University of Washington | Sallis J.F.,University of California at San Diego | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: GIS-based walkability measures designed to explain active travel fail to capture "playability" and proximity to healthy food. These constructs should be considered when measuring potential child obesogenic environments. Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe the development of GIS-based multicomponent physical activity and nutrition environment indicators of child obesogenic environments in the San Diego and Seattle regions. Methods: Block group-level walkability (street connectivity, residential density,land-usemix, and retail floor area ratio) measures were constructed in each region. Multiple sources were used to enumerate parks (∼900-1600 per region) and food establishments (∼10,000 per region). Physical activity environments were evaluated on the basis of walkability and presence and quality of parks. Nutrition environments were evaluated based on presence and density of fast-food restaurants and distance to supermarkets. Four neighborhood types were defined using high/low cut points for physical activity and nutrition environments def?ned through an iterative process dependentonregional counts of fast-food outlets and overall distance to parks and grocery stores from census block groups where youth live. Results: To identify sufficient numbers of children aged 6-11 years, high physical activity environment block groups had at least one high-quality park within 0.25 miles and were above median walkability, whereas low physical activity environment groups had no parks and were below median walkability. High nutrition environment block groups had a supermarket within 0.5 miles, and fewer than 16 (Seattle) and 31 (San Diego) fast-food restaurants within 0.5 miles. Low nutrition environments had either no supermarket, or a supermarket and more than 16 (Seattle) and 31 (San Diego) fast-food restaurants within 0.5 miles. Income, educational attainment, and ethnicity varied across physical activity and nutrition environments. Conclusions: These approaches to defining neighborhood environments can be used to study physical activity, nutrition, and obesity outcomes. Findings presented in a companion paper validate these GIS methods for measuring obesogenic environments. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Saelens B.E.,University of Washington | Sallis J.F.,University of California at San Diego | Frank L.D.,University of British Columbia | Couch S.C.,University of Cincinnati | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Identifying neighborhood environment attributes related to childhood obesity can inform environmental changes for obesity prevention. Purpose: To evaluate child and parent weight status across neighborhoods in King County (Seattle metropolitan area) and San Diego County differing in GIS-defined physical activity environment (PAE) and nutrition environment (NE) characteristics. Methods: Neighborhoods were selected to represent high (favorable) versus low (unfavorable) on the two measures, forming four neighborhood types (low on both measures, low PAE/high NE, high PAE/low NE, and highonboth measures). Weight and height of children aged 6-11 years and one parent (n=730) from selected neighborhoods were assessed in 2007-2009. Differences in child and parent overweight and obesity by neighborhood type were examined, adjusting for neighborhood-, family-, and individual-level demographics. Results: Children from neighborhoods high on both environment measures were less likely to be obese (7.7% vs 15.9%,OR=0.44, p=0.02) and marginally less likely to be overweight (23.7% vs 31.7%, OR=0.67, p=0.08) than children from neighborhoods low on both measures. In models adjusted for parent weight status and demographic factors, neighborhood environment type remained related to child obesity (high vs low on both measures, OR=0.41, p<0.03). Parents in neighborhoods high on both measures (versus low on both) were marginally less likely to be obese (20.1% vs 27.7%, OR=0.66, p=0.08), although parent overweight did not differ by neighborhood environment. The lower odds of parent obesity in neighborhoods with environments supportive of physical activity and healthy eating remained in models adjusted for demographics (high vs low on the environment measures, OR=0.57, p=0.053). Conclusions: Findings support the proposed GIS-based definitions of obesogenic neighborhoods for children and parents that consider both physical activity and nutrition environment features. © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Cain K.L.,University of California | Millstein R.A.,San Diego State University | Sallis J.F.,University of California | Conway T.L.,University of California | And 8 more authors.
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2014

Ecological models of physical activity emphasize the effects of environmental influences. "Microscale" streetscape features that may affect pedestrian experience have received less research attention than macroscale walkability (e.g., residential density). The Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS) measures street design, transit stops, sidewalk qualities, street crossing amenities, and features impacting aesthetics. The present study examined associations of microscale attributes with multiple physical activity (PA) measures across four age groups. Areas in the San Diego, Seattle, and the Baltimore metropolitan areas, USA, were selected that varied on macro-level walkability and neighborhood income. Participants (n=3677) represented four age groups (children, adolescents, adults, older adults). MAPS audits were conducted along a 0.25 mile route along the street network from participant residences toward the nearest non-residential destination. MAPS data were collected in 2009-2010. Subscale and overall summary scores were created. Walking/biking for transportation and leisure/neighborhood PA were measured with age-appropriate surveys. Objective PA was measured with accelerometers. Mixed linear regression analyses were adjusted for macro-level walkability. Across all age groups 51.2%, 22.1%, and 15.7% of all MAPS scores were significantly associated with walking/biking for transport, leisure/neighborhood PA, and objectively-measured PA, respectively. Supporting the ecological model principle of behavioral specificity, destinations and land use, streetscape, street segment, and intersection variables were more related to transport walking/biking, while aesthetic variables were related to leisure/neighborhood PA. The overall score was related to objective PA in children and older adults. Present findings provide strong evidence that microscale environment attributes are related to PA across the lifespan. Improving microscale features may be a feasible approach to creating activity-friendly environments. © 2014 The Authors.


PubMed | Urban Design 4 Health Inc., Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, University of Southern Denmark, University of British Columbia and 7 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of health geographics | Year: 2017

Advancements in geographic information systems over the past two decades have increased the specificity by which an individuals neighborhood environment may be spatially defined for physical activity and health research. This study investigated how different types of street network buffering methods compared in measuring a set of commonly used built environment measures (BEMs) and tested their performance on associations with physical activity outcomes.An internationally-developed set of objective BEMs using three different spatial buffering techniques were used to evaluate the relative differences in resulting explanatory power on self-reported physical activity outcomes. BEMs were developed in five countries using sausage, detailed-trimmed, and detailed, network buffers at a distance of 1km around participant household addresses (n=5883).BEM values were significantly different (p<0.05) for 96% of sausage versus detailed-trimmed buffer comparisons and 89% of sausage versus detailed network buffer comparisons. Results showed that BEM coefficients in physical activity models did not differ significantly across buffering methods, and in most cases BEM associations with physical activity outcomes had the same level of statistical significance across buffer types. However, BEM coefficients differed in significance for 9% of the sausage versus detailed models, which may warrant further investigation.Results of this study inform the selection of spatial buffering methods to estimate physical activity outcomes using an internationally consistent set of BEMs. Using three different network-based buffering methods, the findings indicate significant variation among BEM values, however associations with physical activity outcomes were similar across each buffering technique. The study advances knowledge by presenting consistently assessed relationships between three different network buffer types and utilitarian travel, sedentary behavior, and leisure-oriented physical activity outcomes.


Kneeshaw-Price S.H.,Family Centered Care Services | Kneeshaw-Price S.H.,University of Washington | Saelens B.E.,University of Washington | Saelens B.E.,Seattle Childrens Research Institute | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Urban Health | Year: 2015

Crime is both a societal safety and public health issue. Examining different measures and aspects of crime-related safety and their correlations may provide insight into the unclear relationship between crime and children’s physical activity. We evaluated five neighborhood crime-related safety measures to determine how they were interrelated. We then explored which crime-related safety measures were associated with children’s total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and MVPA in their neighborhoods. Significant positive correlations between observed neighborhood incivilities and parents’ perceptions of general crime and disorder were found (r = 0.30, p = 0.0002), as were associations between parents’ perceptions of general crime and disorder and perceptions of stranger danger (r = 0.30, p = 0.0002). Parent report of prior crime victimization in their neighborhood was associated with observed neighborhood incivilities (r = 0.22, p = 0.007) and their perceptions of both stranger danger (r = 0.24, p = 0.003) and general crime and disorder (r = 0.37, p < 0.0001). After accounting for covariates, police-reported crime within the census block group in which children lived was associated with less physical activity, both total and in their neighborhood (beta = −0.09, p = 0.005, beta = −0.01, p = 0.02, respectively). Neighborhood-active children living in the lowest crime-quartile neighborhoods based on police reports had 40 min more of total MVPA on average compared to neighborhood-active children living in the highest crime-quartile neighborhoods. Findings suggest that police reports of neighborhood crime may be contributing to lower children’s physical activity. © 2015, The New York Academy of Medicine.


Giles-Corti B.,University of Western Australia | Wood G.,University of Western Australia | Pikora T.,University of Western Australia | Learnihan V.,Urban Design 4 Health Inc. | And 5 more authors.
Health and Place | Year: 2011

The impact of neighborhood walkability (based on street connectivity and traffic exposure) within 2 km of public primary schools on children regularly walking to school was examined. The most (n=13) and least walkable (n=12) schools were selected using a school-specific 'walkability' index and a cross sectional study undertaken of Year 5, 6 and 7 children (n=1480) and consenting parents (n=1332). After adjustment, regularly walking to school was higher in children attending schools in high walkable neighborhoods (i.e, high street connectivity and low traffic volume) (Odds ratio (OR) 3.63; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 2.01-6.56), and less likely in neighborhoods with high connectivity but high traffic volume (OR 0.32; 95% CI 0.22-0.47). Connected street networks provide direct routes to school but when designed for heavy traffic, the potential for children to walk to school is reduced. This highlights the importance of carefully considering school siting and, particularly, street design in school neighborhoods. © 2010.


Frank L.D.,University of British Columbia | Greenwald M.J.,Urban Design 4 Health Inc. | Winkelman S.,Center for Clean Air Policy | Chapman J.,Urban Design 4 Health Inc. | Kavage S.,Urban Design 4 Health Inc.
Preventive Medicine | Year: 2010

Objective: Our objective was to describe how active transportation can help meet health and greenhouse gas emissions goals, and the ability of urban form strategies to impact both issues. In addition, we wanted to assess if there is an inverse relationship between active and motorized forms of travel. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of travel diary data was used to measure relationships among energy (kcal) burned from walking, energy (kcal) burned from motorized transportation, and the ratio of the two (the transport energy index) with regional accessibility and local walkability when adjusting for demographic factors. Multiple linear regression and descriptive statistics were employed to estimate these relationships. Results: Transit accessibility, residential density, and intersection density were positive predictors of walk energy and the energy index and inverse predictors of motorized energy. The land use mix variable was negatively and significantly associated with energy burned from walking and from motorized transportation, with no significant impact on the transport energy index. Because a mixed land use pattern places destinations closer together, it reduces distances and thus energy demands for both walking and driving. Conclusions: The results support the concept, previously untested empirically, that similar urban form strategies can have cobenefits for both physical activity and climate change. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Strath S.J.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Greenwald M.J.,Urban Design 4 Health Inc. | Isaacs R.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Hart T.L.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity | Year: 2012

Background: Few studies have investigated both the self-perceived and measured environment with objectively determined physical activity in older adults. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to examine measured and perceived environmental associations with physical activity of older adults residing across different neighborhood types.Methods: One-hundred and forty-eight older individuals, mean age 64.3 ± 8.4, were randomly recruited from one of four neighborhoods that were pre-determined as either having high- or low walkable characteristics. Individual residences were geocoded and 200 m network buffers established. Both objective environment audit, and self-perceived environmental measures were collected, in conjunction with accelerometer derived physical activity behavior. Using both perceived and objective environment data, analysis consisted of a macro-level comparison of physical activity levels across neighborhood, and a micro-level analysis of individual environmental predictors of physical activity levels.Results: Individuals residing in high-walkable neighborhoods on average engaged in 11 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day more than individuals residing in low-walkable neighborhoods. Both measured access to non-residential destinations (b = .11, p < .001) and self-perceived access to non-residential uses (b = 2.89, p = .031) were significant predictors of time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity. Other environmental variables significantly predicting components of physical activity behavior included presence of measured neighborhood crime signage (b = .4785, p = .031), measured street safety (b = 26.8, p = .006), and perceived neighborhood satisfaction (b = .5.8, p = .003).Conclusions: Older adult residents who live in high-walkable neighborhoods, who have easy and close access to nonresidential destinations, have lower social dysfunction pertinent to crime, and generally perceive the neighborhood to a higher overall satisfaction are likely to engage in higher levels of physical activity behavior. Efforts aimed at promoting more walkable neighborhoods could influence activity levels in older adults. © 2012 Strath et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Frank L.D.,University of British Columbia | Kershaw S.E.,Urban Design 4 Health Ltd | Chapman J.E.,Urban Design 4 Health Ltd | Campbell M.,Toronto Public Health | And 2 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Public Health | Year: 2015

Objectives: Individual preferences for residential location, neighbourhood character and travel options are not always met. The availability and cost of housing and several other factors often require compromise. The primary objectives of this study were to examine neighbourhood preferences, quantify unmet demand for more walkable environments and explore associations between the built environment, travel behaviour and health after controlling for neighbourhood preference. Methods: A web-based, visually oriented residential preference survey was conducted with 1,525 adults in the Greater Toronto Area and 1,223 adults in Metro Vancouver aged 25 and older (5.8% and 11.8% of total potential recruits, respectively). Participants were randomly selected from a prerecruited panel across a range of objectively calculated walkability and income levels at the forward sortation area level.Results: Depending on the neighbourhood design attribute, between 45% and 64% of residents in the cities of Toronto and Vancouver strongly preferred living in walkable settings, compared with between 6% and 15% who strongly preferred auto-oriented places. Of participants who perceived their current neighbourhood as very auto-oriented, between 11% and 20% of City of Toronto participants and 6% and 30% of City of Vancouver participants strongly preferred a very walkable neighbourhood. Residents of highly walkable neighbourhoods reported walking significantly more for utilitarian purposes, taking public transit more frequently and driving fewer kilometres.Conclusion: Strong preferences for walking and transit-supportive neighbourhoods exist in two of Canada’s largest metropolitan regions, with considerable unmet demand observed for such environments. The findings provide evidence for policies that enable walkability and inform market analysis, planning and regulatory approaches that better align with the supply and demand of more walkable neighbourhood environments. Providing increased opportunities for active transportation can have positive impacts on health-enhancing behaviours © Canadian Public Health Association, 2015. All rights reserved.

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