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Old 10-14-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,573,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
No, it's not. It's about what makes a place more walkable. Not the same thing.
Then this thread is done because we have all answered the OP's question and have gone into debating with each other over each other's definition of what is walkability.
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:41 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,037 posts, read 102,723,474 times
Reputation: 33084
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
No, I don't, though I have looked through it on streetview. None of it looked that walkable if it all. Nor were there many pedestrians. It didn't seem like a good choice of place to expect walkability to make any difference. I don't think it has "all of those things" or much of any.
For all you know, the streetviews were taken when it was 110 degrees in the shade! I looked back through the old threads referencing this study, and the authors are from Arizona State U. They "wrote what they know". What a concept! This all came up last time, too. Maybe you should just bump the old threads.
City Landscape and Public Health
Urban vs Suburban Schools
(The firefight starts at post #170)

Let's get off Phoenix. Obesity rates almost everywhere are higher in the inner cities. In some cases that is contrary to the expectations of the researchers!

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 10-14-2014 at 08:59 AM..
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,573,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post

Let's get off Phoenix. Obesity rates almost everywhere are higher in the inner cities. In some cases that is contrary to the expectations of the researchers!
That is because of poverty issues and lack of jobs. Places that have a healthy economy in walkable communities have less of an issue with obesity.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,668,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I posted that? Hmm. Well, the conclusion is that research has focused on the suburbs, and needs to be done in the city.

**Recent research on the health impacts of the built environment has led to a better understanding of how contemporary land use planning may influence physical activity, obesity and related chronic diseases. Much of the focus of this research has been on suburban development design and form. Comparable research on the relationship of the built environment and health is needed for urban, especially inner city, neighborhoods.**

Also:

**Street trees, along with other pedestrian amenities, have been found to be a promoting factor in physical activity [40]. In many urban areas, street canopies are disappearing as disease, age, and lack of maintenance of new trees, slowly reduce the number of trees. When cities suffer fiscal constraints, the budgets of parks and recreation departments are generally the first to be cut; and replacement of urban street becomes a low priority. Further, evidence suggests that trees are more likely to be replaced in higher income communities than in neighborhoods with more poor households and people of color [41].**

I'll look for the article I was referring to. I know I've posted it here on Urban Planning at least twice.

ETA: Here's the abstract. IIRC, it touched off a firestorm on this forum.
City structure, obesity, and environmental justi... [Soc Sci Med. 2009] - PubMed - NCBI
**We find that, counter to predictions, subpopulations generally considered vulnerable to obesity (and environmental injustices more generally) are more likely to live in walkable neighborhoods and have better walking access to neighborhood parks than other groups in Phoenix.**
Just having walking access to neighborhood parks (and they indicate that parks in poorer neighborhoods are often smaller, too, BTW) does not make a neighborhood walkable. I would also contend that an otherwise walkable neighborhood is less walkable, if one is afraid to go outside, due to high crime rates.

Right after the part of the abstract you quoted:
Quote:
However, crime is highest in walkable neighborhoods with large Latino/a and
African-American populations and parks are smaller in areas populated by
Latino/as. Given the higher prevalence of obesity and related diseases in lower
income and minority populations in Phoenix, the results suggest that benefits of
built environments may be offset by social characteristics.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:03 AM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,356,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Then this thread is done because we have all answered the OP's question and have gone into debating with each other over each other's definition of what is walkability.
Yeah, like I said many posts ago:

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Q: What makes a place walkable?
A: An urbanist.

The definition is wholly arbitrary and the subject of personal preferences - a subjective opinion of the observer. Each decides whether a place is "walkable" or not. Very, very few would be situated such that their daily needs could be attended to if they lived in an area they deemed "walkable". The term is not part of the daily vocabulary of the rest of the world.
What makes a place or space walkable?
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:05 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,037 posts, read 102,723,474 times
Reputation: 33084
Can we please quit talking about this freaking study? My God! It was accepted by a peer-reviewed journal, and here are a bunch of CD jockeys thinking they know more than the authors about a subject which is the author's area of expertise.

I can't get the article itself. I think it's been archived or something; it's from 2009. The main point is that the outcome was not what the authors expected!
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,767,316 times
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I'm not saying that the authors incorrectly determined which parts of Phoenix were more walkable, or that they incorrectly determined that these more walkable areas had more health problems. Their results could very well be valid in showing that the difference between abysmal walkability and low/mediocre walkability is not enough to overcome socio-economic factors.

I'm just saying that while there are parts of Phoenix that are more walkable than others, they're still not that walkable.

It would be interesting to compare these results to a metro area where the most walkable parts are walkable enough to have a major impact on mode share. The Bay Area, and the metro areas of New York, Philadelphia and Boston for instance. Although these do have gentrified neighbourhoods, they still have plenty of more low income or working class areas that are still pretty walkable.

This is a study for Toronto which is not inconsistent with the one for Phoenix.

PLOS ONE: Density, Destinations or Both? A Comparison of Measures of Walkability in Relation to Transportation Behaviors, Obesity and Diabetes in Toronto, Canada

The relationship was mostly noticeable for the top quintile of walkability, which is probably starting around a walkscore in the high 80s and up to 100. The trend seems less obvious for the second quintile which is probably ranging from around the high 70s to high 80s. The third quintile is probably around a walkscore of 70, vs the 5th/bottom quintile which is around 40-55 and it seems like these health issues are equally prevalent from the 5th to 3rd quintile, it might even be a bit better in the 5th than 3rd. Perhaps because these parts of Toronto, mostly located in the post-WWII areas, tend to have higher density lower income housing closer to the strip malls and shopping centres and middle or upper class single family homes further away.

That study seems to have been done at a city block level but provides no maps of diabetes rates. This is a map of diabetes rates at a broader neighbourhood level.

http://era.on.ca/blogs/towerrenewal/...cesmaps-61.jpg

You see several trends, areas closer to downtown which are more walkable have lower diabetes rates. But you also see that wealthier areas have lower diabetes rates, wealthier outer neighbourhoods do better than poorer outer neighbourhoods, and the same pattern seems to hold in the core. And demographics do seem to play a role, more white and east asian areas seem to do better even adjusted for income and walkability although this trend is less obvious than the other two.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,088 posts, read 16,117,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
That is because of poverty issues and lack of jobs. Places that have a healthy economy in walkable communities have less of an issue with obesity.
So do non-walkable communities.

San Jose metro has a lower obesity rate than San Francisco metro. You'd have to be out of your mind to say San Jose is more walkable than San Francisco. San Francisco is by far the most walkable place in California. Now, San Francisco also includes some East Bay areas that are even less walkable than most of San Jose metro is.

How about this? You know what the healthiest county in California is? Marin. Not walkable, doesn't have a particularly strong economy either. What it does have is a lot of rich people who work in San Francisco. Rich people smoke less, are less obese, exercise more, and eat better. Result? Healthiest county in California. It doesn't matter that it isn't walkable and really doesn't have much of an economy itself.

It goes from there. No place in the top ten is particularly walkable. San Mateo and Santa Clara are definitely the most walkable with very, very good economies. They come in at #3 and #4 behind Placer which is mostly rural with a weak economy, but again it's mostly wealthier people that live there commuting into Sacramento are telecomuters, retirees, or just active people who live there for the outdoor recreational activities it affords and scrape by.

Going down to #17 is Contra Costa. Suburban, not particularly wealthy but it has a smaller population of inner city poor which is my guess as to why it ranks so high. Finally you have Alameda at #20 and San Francisco at #22. They are by far the most walkable in California along with parts of LA county. They're also pretty wealthy.

http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/...erall/snapshot

There's very little food deserts in SF or Alameda. In comparison, way more of Contra Costa is a food desert and where you really see it is interior and rural California. Fresno, Salinas, Merced... lots of food deserts where people really live as aside from say Treasure Island or Hunters Point where very few people live.
http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-product...x#.VD1yMPldU1Y
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,573,101 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Yeah, like I said many posts ago:



What makes a place or space walkable?
Yes, an "urbanist" would be more willing to live in a walkable community than they would a car centric community. Portland has populated walkable neighborhoods for a reason.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,573,101 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Can we please quit talking about this freaking study? My God! It was accepted by a peer-reviewed journal, and here are a bunch of CD jockeys thinking they know more than the authors about a subject which is the author's area of expertise.

I can't get the article itself. I think it's been archived or something; it's from 2009. The main point is that the outcome was not what the authors expected!
We are talking about this study because we have all read it. It is about how poverty effects a community more than how the community is built.
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