A greater density of housing also may encourage walking, but only once density reaches a relatively high level, according to the RAND Health study that is one of the first to test whether urban design recommendations for creating walkable communities may help achieve their goal.
"Our findings may provide some guidance to designers and urban planners as they try to create communities where people are encouraged to walk instead of always traveling by car," said Rob Boer, a RAND natural scientist and lead author of the study. "This is one of the first studies to test the notions about what factors in the built environment may increase walking."
Researchers from RAND, a nonprofit research organization, examined survey information from residents in 10 major U.S. cities about their walking habits and compared the results to the characteristics of the neighborhoods where those people lived.
Published in the February edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the study was designed to test four basic criteria developed as a part of the New Urbanism Smart Scorecard to help urban planners create communities that encourage walking.
Researchers found no evidence that shorter blocks encouraged more walking as suggested by the Scorecard. The effect of housing density on walking was mixed. Only when density reached 14 units per acre or more did the number of walking trips increase, according to the study.
Business diversity increased walking until there were four types of businesses in a neighborhood, and then the impact plateaued. While there was a consistent link between the number of four-way intersections and walking, the impact was not particularly strong, researchers say.
"We will need to examine whether these items have to be done in concert in order to have a big impact on walking," Boer said. "We also need to explore other factors, such as whether people who are interested in walking may seek out certain types of neighborhoods."
Data for the study was taken from the National Personal Transportation Survey of 1995 that included interviews of 42,033 households nationwide. The main cities were Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington. Information about the urban makeup of study neighborhoods was taken from the 2000 Census.
Warren Robak | EurekAlert!
Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
23.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.07.2018 | Information Technology
23.07.2018 | Health and Medicine