Zuniga-Teran and her team have extensively investigated how neighborhood design influences physical activity and wellbeing. They studied “four types of neighborhood designs: traditional development [these include homes and accessible commercial spaces], suburban development, enclosed [gated] community, and cluster housing development [which generally preserve natural/green spaces and include townhouse-type homes], and assess their level of walkability and their effects on physical activity and wellbeing. . . . traditional development showed . . .
Brookfield probed how resident preferences align with neighborhood design elements that have been tied to walkability. She found, after conducting focus groups with eleven residents’ groups with diverse sets of participants, that “Residents’ groups favoured providing a selection of services and facilities addressing a local need, such as a corner shop, within a walkable distance, but not the immediate vicinity, of housing. . . .
Bright, uniform, and overhead prevail
Opportunities affect responses
Smart Growth America investigated incidents in which pedestrians were hit by cars and their entire study is available free at the web address noted in the reference, below. They report that “Multiple studies have found that reducing the number of travel lanes and installing median islands have substantially reduced all crashes, including those that often result in serious injury or death for pedestrians. . . . A Complete Streets approach helps transportation planners and engineers . . .
Voisin and Kim linked neighborhood conditions to the mental health and behaviors of African American youth. They learned by analyzing data collected from “683 African American youth from low-income communities. . . . that participants who reported poorer neighborhood conditions [i.e. broken windows index] compared to those who lived in better living conditions were more likely to report higher rates of mental health problems, delinquency, substance use, and unsafe sexual behaviors.”
Jokela and colleagues probed links between the location of homes, personality, and life satisfaction. They learned that “Higher openness to experience was more positively associated with life satisfaction in postal districts [in London] characterized by higher average openness to experience, population density, and ethnic diversity. . . .
The Center for Active Design (CfAD) probed links between design and civic life; what they’ve learned is available without charge at the website noted below. Data collected via the Knight Foundation’s Soul of the Community survey (using phone interviews in English and Spanish) in 26 US communities and analyzed by the CfAD indicates that “Compared to people with little access to outdoor recreation space in their community, people who report an abundance of outdoor recreation space are 28% more likely to think their local leaders represent their interests.
Li and Joh have identified a positive relationship between home values, the bikeability of neighborhoods, and the presence of viable public transit: home values increase with bikeability and feasible transit options. As Li and Joh report, “Planners and policy makers are increasingly promoting biking and public transit as viable means of transportation. The integration of bicycling and transit has been acknowledged as a strategy to increase the mode share of bicycling and the efficiency of public transit by solving the first- and last-mile problem. . .
Kim and team found via a study analyzing over 11,000 single-family home sales in Austin, Texas that house prices are affected by nearby trees. They report that “Many empirical studies assessing the economic benefits of urban green space have continually documented that green space tends to increase both value and sale price of nearby residential properties. . . . this study examined the association between landscape spatial patterns of urban green spaces and single-family home sale transactions. . . .