Increase Physical Activity

Walk or Drive? (03-03-15)

What design features prompt people to drive between places that are within walking distance of each other?  Schneider found that in shopping districts “respondents were significantly more likely to walk when the main commercial roadway had fewer driveway crossings and a lower speed limit.”

Robert Schneider.  2015.  “Walk or Drive Between Stores?  Designing Neighbourhood Shopping Districts for Pedestrian Activity.”  Journal of Urban Design, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 212-229.

Urban Design in China and Activity (02-06-15)

The design of Chinese cities affects the level of physical activity of people living in them, according to an article published in Preventative Medicine.  This study is interesting because it replicates findings from Western countries.  Researchers at New York University and East China Normal University report that  “Chinese cities are different from many Western cities in relation to urban design, and far more densely populated. . . .

Jacobs' Work Supported (02-03-15)

Sung and colleagues have documented the value of Jane Jacobs' work.  As they report: “Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) had an enormous influence on urban design theories and practices. This study aims to operationalize Jacobs’s conditions for a vital urban life. These are (1) mixed use, (2) small blocks, (3) aged buildings, and (4) a sufficient concentration of buildings. Jacobs suggested that a vital urban life could be sustained by an urban realm that promotes pedestrian activity for various purposes at various times. . . .

Designing Neighborhoods to Encourage Physical Activity (01-26-15)

Adlakha and his colleagues have researched neighborhood features that encourage walking, confirming many findings from earlier studies.  They determined via telephone interviews, that “In home neighborhoods, seven . . .  BE [built environment] features (availability of fruits and vegetables, presence of shops and stores, bike facilities, recreation facilities, crime rate, seeing others active, and interesting things) were associated with leisure PA [physical activity]. . . .

Seniors to the Suburbs (10-31-14)

Researchers at Concordia University have found that people over 65 are moving to homes in the suburbs.  This has significant repercussions for the design of not only residences but also the neighborhoods in which they’re located.  As a press release related to the Concordia study reports, “By 2040, there will be more than three times the number of Americans aged 80+ than there were in 2000. Condo towers crowding city skylines seem to reflect builders’ hopes that the grey set will head to urban centres for increased services and better transit options.