Researchers have determined that there is a positive relationship between duration of time in a park and lower systolic blood pressure, as well as a relationship between being in a park with another person and how healthy the person in the park perceives himself or herself to be.
Researchers have been investigating event-places, "which make powerful linkages between physical and social phenomena."
For most buyers, their image of home includes its neighborhood. Several new studies investigate homeowner preferences for traditional or neotraditonal neighborhoods, suburban-style neighborhoods, and open space conservation neighborhoods to determine factors that affect home preference and price.
Transportation and health experts continue to tout the benefits of walking for exercise and for neighborhood errands. One recent review examines eighteen separate studies on walking to determine common factors in the environment that might help or hinder walking, while another lays out guidelines to help quantify what makes a street or walkway comfortable for pedestrians—laying the groundwork for an assessment tool. Originally published in Issue 4, 2004.
Grass and trees in outdoor spaces were shown to increase the use and social activity in outdoor places.
In a study of forest settings without paths, researchers have shown that if a location has either visual access or legibility, it will be preferred.
Measures to protect pedestrian safety sometimes seem counter-intuitive. What interventions are effective, and what can we do to reconcile the difference between what is safer, and what we think is safer? Originally published in Issue 3, 2004.
Greenway planning often has to encompass a myriad of goals and users. One significant goal, particularly in urban areas, is how to plan greenways that people enjoy and use. Two recent studies, covered in an issue of Landscape and Urban Planning devoted to greenways, address this topic by investigating people’s opinions about river corridor greenways.
Designing streets for pedestrians requires consideration of a basic concern—safety. Yet, many safety installations, such as raised islands, installed sidewalks, and pedestrian overpasses can be expensive to design and install. Can lower-cost interventions be effective?
Arthur Stamps (Institute of Environmental Quality) studied enclosure using visual simulations with three varied properties: height of enclosure, permeability, and the perceived area of the enclosure.