Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shaping the City of Tomorrow: What Gets Us Moving

05.08.2004


How can we build communities that encourage a more active lifestyle? Researchers at Saint Louis University School of Public Health have received a $99,000 grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to answer that question as they study how the features of our physical environment affect our activity levels.



The researchers, led by Ross Brownson, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and director of the Prevention Research Center at Saint Louis University School of Public Health, will analyze how factors such as the quality of sidewalks, the presence of restaurants, safety from traffic and graffiti influence whether we walk or ride bikes.

“The primary aim of this project is to determine the most important features of the street-level environment that influence transportation and recreation activity patterns,” Brownson says.


Their findings could shape how the cities of tomorrow are designed, he says.

“By identifying specific features of the built environment that are important in influencing rates of physical activity, this study will contribute to a body of evidence for directing changes in local land use and transportation policies that shape the built environment.”

Planners will be able to use this type of research to plan communities that support physical activity, adds Christine Hoehner, a co-investigator at Saint Louis University School of Public Health.

“With the goal of creating environments that rely less on cars and encourage walking and bicycling, a growing number of cities throughout the United States are changing development codes, which regulate various aspects of how communities are built,” Hoehner says. “Based in part on our study, revised zoning and building codes might support a wider range of housing types and mixed use.”

In addition, the research likely will be valuable to state and local health departments that are working on plans to reduce obesity and increase physical activity levels, Brownson says.

The researchers are analyzing data from lower and higher income areas of St. Louis, a “low-walkable” community, and of Savannah, Ga., a “high-walkable” community. They have used telephone polls to gauge how residents perceive their neighborhoods. They also have visited those neighborhoods to collect objective data, such as the ratio of homes to non-residential destinations, the condition of sidewalks, the existence of bike lanes and the presence of litter and broken glass.

“As yet, it is unclear whether the objective measures of the environment – for instance, the actual number of crime incidents in a neighborhood – or people’s perceptions of their environment – for example, an individual’s feelings of safety from crime in his or her neighborhood – are more important in explaining physical activity,” Brownson says.

“This comprehensive assessment of diverse urban neighborhoods provides many avenues to examine the association between neighborhood environmental factors and physical activity behavior.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., is the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grantmaking in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to quality health care at reasonable cost; to improve the quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse – tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.

Saint Louis University School of Public Health is one of only 34 fully accredited schools of public health in the United States and the nation’s only School of Public Health sponsored by a Jesuit university.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.slu.edu

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>