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      Designing the Walkable City

      Journal of Urban Planning and Development
      American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

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          Social capital and the built environment: the importance of walkable neighborhoods.

          I sought to examine whether pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use neighborhoods encourage enhanced levels of social and community engagement (i.e., social capital). The study investigated the relationship between neighborhood design and individual levels of social capital. Data were obtained from a household survey that measured the social capital of citizens living in neighborhoods that ranged from traditional, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented designs to modern, car-dependent suburban subdivisions in Galway, Ireland. The analyses indicate that persons living in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods have higher levels of social capital compared with those living in car-oriented suburbs. Respondents living in walkable neighborhoods were more likely to know their neighbors, participate politically, trust others, and be socially engaged. Walkable, mixed-use neighborhood designs can encourage the development of social capital.
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            Relationship between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity, and Morbidity

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              Walking, bicycling, and urban landscapes: evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area.

              Some claim that car-dependent cities contribute to obesity by discouraging walking and bicycling. In this article, we use household activity data from the San Francisco region to study the links between urban environments and nonmotorized travel. We used factor analysis to represent the urban design and land-use diversity dimensions of built environments. Combining factor scores with control variables, like steep terrain, that gauge impediments to walking and bicycling, we estimated discrete-choice models. Built-environment factors exerted far weaker, although not inconsequential, influences on walking and bicycling than control variables. Stronger evidence on the importance of urban landscapes in shaping foot and bicycle travel is needed if the urban planning and public health professions are to forge an effective alliance against car-dependent sprawl.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Urban Planning and Development
                J. Urban Plann. Dev.
                American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
                0733-9488
                1943-5444
                December 2005
                December 2005
                : 131
                : 4
                : 246-257
                Article
                10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9488(2005)131:4(246)
                b7f85981-75b3-4dd4-b25b-f1c6c296d5e6
                © 2005
                History

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