Residential Neighborhood/Area

Walkability and Greenness, Benefits (09-14-22)

Marquet and colleagues link area walkability and greenness to the activity levels of users.  They found “Using a nationwide sample of working female adults . . . [and] seven days of GPS and accelerometry data. . . . [that] Higher activity space walkability was associated with higher levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity, and higher activity space greenness was associated with greater numbers of steps per week. . . . Highest levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity were observed for participants with both high walkability and high greenness in their activity spaces.

Green Exercise During the Pandemic (08-08-22)

Das and Gailey’s work confirms the value of exercising in green environments via data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The research duo report that “Previous cross-sectional literature reports protective effects of outdoor exposure on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We longitudinally assess whether green exercise corresponded with a decline in adverse mental health symptoms, controlling for state lockdown policies. . . . we specificized participation in an outdoor walk, jog, or hike (green exercise). . . .

Walkability and Health (04-15-22)

Research by Wali and teammates confirms that walkability boosts health.  They share that they examined “high resolution data for 476 participants in the Rails and Health study on health care costs, mode specific MVPA[ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity], parcel-level built environment, and neighborhood perception surveys. . . .  A 1% increase in bike, walk, and transit-related MVPA was associated with lower health care costs by −0.28%, −0.09%, and −0.27% respectively. A one-unit increase in neighborhood walkability index correlates with a 6.48% reduction in health care costs. . . .

Green Space and Healthcare Costs (03-29-22)

Work by a research team lead by Van Den Eeden provides additional evidence that living near green spaces is good for our health.  The team reports that they “sought to determine if residential green cover was also associated with direct healthcare costs. We linked residential Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) satellite data for 5,189,303 [people] . . . to direct individual healthcare costs for 2003–2015. . . . we examined the association between direct healthcare costs and green cover within 250, 500, and 1000 meters (m) of an individual’s residence. . . .

Changing Neighborhood Temperatures (03-28-22)

Research indicates that urban design is affecting neighborhood temperatures.  A study conducted in Australia by Rouhollahi, Boland, and others determined that “New housing subdivisions, smaller yards and a dependence on air conditioning have resulted in a 30 per cent decline in Australian residential trees in the past decade, leading to hotter neighbourhoods and increased energy costs.”

Green Areas and Strokes (03-22-22)

Living near a green area has been linked to less likelihood of having a stroke.  Researchers report that “The risk of suffering an ischaemic stroke, the most common type of cerebrovascular event, is 16% less in people who have green spaces less than 300 metres from their homes. . . . The study took into account information on exposure to three atmospheric pollutants linked to vehicle traffic. . . . The results indicate a direct relationship between increased levels of NO2 in the atmosphere and the risk of ischaemic stroke.

Walkability and Health (03-02-22)

Howell and Booth link neighborhood walkability and the presence of outdoor amenities to better health and fewer cases of diabetes among residents.  The duo report that “researchers and policymakers alike have been searching for effective means to promote healthy lifestyles at a population level. . . . there has been a proliferation of research examining how the ‘built’ environment in which we live influences physical activity levels, by promoting active forms of transportation, such as walking and cycling, over passive ones, such as car use.

Greenspace and Mental Health (02-28-22)

Reid, Rieves, and Carlson evaluated the effects of access to greenspace on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They share that they used data collected via a survey completed by Denver, CO residents (November 2019 – January 2021) “and [also] measured objective green space as the average NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) from aerial imagery within 300m and 500m of the participant’s residence.

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