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      Accessing the Neighbourhood: Built Environment Performance for People with Disability

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          Abstract

          In the face of rapid urbanisation, increasing diversity of the human condition, ageing populations, failing infrastructure, and mounting evidence that the built environment affects health and well-being, the existing built environment still fails to meet the needs of people with disability. Nevertheless, in something of a parallel universe, improving built environment ‘sustainability’ performance, via measurement, receives much contemporary attention, and analysing the built environment at micro-scale (buildings), meso-scale (neighbourhood) and macro-scale (city-wide) is undertaken from various multidisciplinary perspectives. But, although built environment performance is already measured in many ways, and community inclusion is considered essential for health and well-being, accessibility performance for people with disability, at neighbourhood scale, is rarely considered. The institutional and medical models of disability help explain the inaccessibility of the existing built environment. On the other hand, the social and human rights models of disability offer insight into improving the accessibility of the existing built environment for people with disability. However, ‘disability’ and ‘built environment’ tend not to mix. People with disability continue to experience lack of meaningful involvement in research, participation in decision-making, partnership equality, and direct influence over policy, with the built environment arena increasingly becoming a private-sector activity. The actors involved, however, have little understanding of either the accessibility needs of people with disability, or the inaccessibility, particularly at neighbourhood scale, of the existing built environment. It is in this context that this paper explores the design, planning and politics of an inaccessible built environment, concluding that assessing the built environment accessibility performance for people with disability, at neighbourhood scale, is an essential component in the process of built environment accessibility improvement. Requiring collaboration between the built environment and disability knowledge domains, a new tool measuring neighbourhood accessibility, the Universal Mobility Index (UMI), has emerged and is undergoing further development.

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          The neighbourhood physical environment and active travel in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

          Background Perceived and objectively-assessed aspects of the neighbourhood physical environment have been postulated to be key contributors to regular engagement in active travel (AT) in older adults. We systematically reviewed the literature on neighbourhood physical environmental correlates of AT in older adults and applied a novel meta-analytic approach to statistically quantify the strength of evidence for environment-AT associations. Methods Forty two quantitative studies that estimated associations of aspects of the neighbourhood built environment with AT in older adults (aged ≥ 65 years) and met selection criteria were reviewed and meta-analysed. Findings were analysed according to five AT outcomes (total walking for transport, within-neighbourhood walking for transport, combined walking and cycling for transport, cycling for transport, and all AT outcomes combined) and seven categories of the neighbourhood physical environment (residential density/urbanisation, walkability, street connectivity, access to/availability of services/destinations, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, aesthetics and cleanliness/order, and safety and traffic). Results Most studies examined correlates of total walking for transport. A sufficient amount of evidence of positive associations with total walking for transport was found for residential density/urbanisation, walkability, street connectivity, overall access to destinations/services, land use mix, pedestrian-friendly features and access to several types of destinations. Littering/vandalism/decay was negatively related to total walking for transport. Limited evidence was available on correlates of cycling and combined walking and cycling for transport, while sufficient evidence emerged for a positive association of within-neighbourhood walking with pedestrian-friendly features and availability of benches/sitting facilities. Correlates of all AT combined mirrored those of walking for transport. Positive associations were also observed with food outlets, business/institutional/industrial destinations, availability of street lights, easy access to building entrance and human and motorised traffic volume. Several but inconsistent individual- and environmental-level moderators of associations were identified. Conclusions Results support strong links between the neighbourhood physical environment and older adults’ AT. Future research should focus on the identification of types and mixes of destinations that support AT in older adults and how these interact with individual characteristics and other environmental factors. Future research should also aim to clarify dose-response relationships through multi-country investigations and data-pooling from diverse geographical regions. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12966-017-0471-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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            Children’s physical activity and parents’ perception of the neighborhood environment: neighborhood impact on kids study

            Background Physical activity is important to children’s physical health and well-being. Many factors contribute to children’s physical activity, and the built environment has garnered considerable interest recently, as many young children spend much of their time in and around their immediate neighborhood. Few studies have identified correlates of children’s activity in specific locations. This study examined associations between parent report of their home neighborhood environment and children’s overall and location-specific physical activity. Methods Parents and children ages 6 to 11 (n=724), living in neighborhoods identified through objective built environment factors as high or low in physical activity environments, were recruited from Seattle and San Diego metropolitan areas, 2007–2009. Parents completed a survey about their child’s activity and perceptions of home neighborhood environmental attributes. Children wore an accelerometer for 7 days. Multivariate regression models explored perceived environment correlates of parent-reported child’s recreational physical activity in their neighborhood, in parks, and in general, as well as accelerometry-based moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) minutes. Results Parent-reported proximity to play areas correlated positively with both accelerometery MVPA and parent-reported total child physical activity. Lower street connectivity and higher neighborhood aesthetics correlated with higher reported child activity in the neighborhood, while reported safety from crime and walk and cycle facilities correlated positively with reported child activity in public recreation spaces. Conclusions Different aspects of parent’s perceptions of the neighborhood environment appear to correlate with different aspects of children’s activity. However, prioritizing closer proximity to safe play areas may best improve children’s physical activity and, in turn, reduce their risk of obesity and associated chronic diseases.
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              Identifying and Measuring Urban Design Qualities Related to Walkability

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Archit_MPS
                Architecture_MPS
                UCL Press
                2050-9006
                01 December 2019
                : 16
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]PhD candidate, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia; majarch@ 123456vdd.com.au
                [2 ]Director, Visionary Design Development PTY LTD, Melbourne, Australia
                Author notes

                Guest Editor: Glyn Everett, University of the West of England, UK

                Article
                Archit_MPS-16-4
                10.14324/111.444.amps.2019v16i1.004
                © 2019, The Author •

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.amps.2019v16i1.004.

                Page count
                Pages: 24
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                Jackson, M. ‘Accessing the Neighbourhood: Built Environment Performance for People with Disability.’. Architecture_MPS, 2019, 16( 1): 4, pp. 1–24. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.amps.2019v16i1.004.

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                Volume 16, Issue 1

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