Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Urban green space linked to walking, cycling levels

28.02.2005


The degree to which city people walk or ride bicycles for their daily transportation needs depends largely on how much green space there is, says a new study that examines the role of urban design in physical fitness.



"Because engaging in moderate physical activity such as walking or bicycling can improve health outcomes, understanding strategies that increase these behaviors has become a public health priority," says Amy Zlot, an epidemiologist with the Oregon Department of Human Services, writing in the current American Journal of Health Promotion.

Using government databases with results from surveys of more than half a million respondents, the researchers compared levels of fitness with parkland acreage in 34 metropolitan areas.


They found that San Francisco had the highest percentage of people who walked or bicycled for recreation and the highest percentage of parkland. New York City had the highest percentage that walked or bicycled for basic transportation, such as commuting to work or running errands, and the third highest amount of parkland.

Atlanta had the lowest percentage for recreational walking or bicycling and the second lowest percentage of parkland, and Memphis had the lowest proportion of people who walked or rode for transportation purposes and the sixth lowest percentage of open space. San Jose had the lowest percentage of parkland.

The parkland acreage was measured as a percentage of total city size, and the figures for walking or bicycling were derived from those who listed those as their two most frequent forms of physical activity.

"In this set of observations, walking and bicycling for transportation was positively associated with parkland acreage," say Zlot and co-author Tom Schmid, who did the research while employed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data did not show a significant relationship between the level of walking or cycling for pleasure and the percentage of urban parks.

The significance of the study, say the authors, is that "the number of route choices a community provides – and mix – the relative percentage of housing, retail, work and recreational opportunities in a community – appear to be important, independent predictors of walking and bicycling."

Zlot and Schmid suggest that studies like theirs might help in the planning of "livable communities" by multidisciplinary teams of urban planners, architects, transportation experts, developers, policy makers, park administrators and environmentalists.

A study of Atlanta area residents published in early February found that city dwellers were more physically active than suburbanites because they walk more often for shopping, dining or doing errands.

Government data suggest that only 45 percent of Americans meet recommendations for physical activity and of the remaining 55 percent, about half are sedentary.

The top 10 cities for recreational walking and bicycling: San Francisco, Milwaukee, Oakland, San Diego, San Jose, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Los Angeles/Tampa (tied) and Denver.

The bottom 10 cities for recreational walking and bicycling: Atlanta, Cincinnati, New York, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix-Mesa, Cleveland, Miami, Las Vegas and Virginia Beach.

The top 10 cities for "utilitarian" walking and bicycling: New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, Cincinnati and Oakland.

The bottom 10 cities for "utilitarian" walking and bicycling: Memphis, Columbus, Cleveland, Virginia Beach, Milwaukee, St. Louis/Atlanta (tied), San Jose, San Diego and Sacramento.

The top 10 cities for parkland as a percentage of city acreage: San Francisco, Washington, New York, San Diego, Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Phoenix-Mesa.

The bottom 10 cities for parkland as a percentage of city acreage: San Jose, Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa, Miami, Houston, Cleveland, Memphis/Sacramento (tie) and Columbus.

Amy Zlot | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cfah.org
http://www.hbns.org
http://www.healthpromotionjournal.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>