Friday

March 30, 2012

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: http://dx.doi.org/ Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
Calgary's busy construction sites are notorious for clogging city sidewalks, forcing pedestrians like cattle through solid but rickety-looking scaffold-covered walkways. Even worse, some major developments block sidewalks completely for months on end….. Now, thanks to Lubarski's spin on shipping containers as pedestrian thoroughfare, it's business as usual outside the massive Keynote building under construction at 11th Avenue and 1st Street S.E.

According to the author, as an emerging generation of designers and engineers rise to challenge the traditional rubric and protocol of traffic engineering, the first highly visible struggle will be that of the cycle track!  Why? This article dissects the issue exploring three themes: the tension between rural and urban transportation policy; the question of dedicating versus sharing road space; and the interpretation and limitations of conventional design standards and criteria.

Transportation Volume 39, Number 2, 409-432,
DOI: 10.1007/s11116-011-9355-8
Our analysis also revealed that cities with safer cycling, lower auto ownership, more students, less sprawl, and higher gasoline prices had more cycling to work. By comparison, annual precipitation, the number of cold and hot days, and public transport supply were not statistically significant predictors of bike commuting in large cities.

…..groundbreaking legislation that would require the owners of commercial buildings to either provide secure bicycle parking in their buildings or to allow the tenants to bring their bicycles into the building.

This study shows that people living in low-income communities are less likely to encounter sidewalks, street/sidewalk lighting, marked crosswalks and traffic calming measures such as pedestrian-friendly medians, traffic islands, curb extensions and traffic circles

 “(Cyclists) tend to shop closer to home and shop more often,” said April Economides, a consultant who helped the city of Long Beach, California build bicycle-friendly business districts. Rather than jumping in the minivan and heading to the suburbs to go to the big shopping malls, cyclists patronize the businesses in our neighborhoods.

… surveys have found that 88 percent (of 20 – 30 year olds) want to live in an urban environment. When they're forced to settle down in a suburb, they prefer communities like Bethesda, Maryland, or Arlington, Virginia, which feature plenty of walking distance restaurants, retail, and public transportation to nearby Washington, DC. 

CHILDREN
An initiative of ChildObesity180, an organization at Tufts University committed to facilitating cross-sector collaboration in order to reverse the trend of childhood obesity within one generation’s time. ASAP seeks to increase quality physical activity in schools as a means to promote healthy, active living and to evoke the beneficial behavioral and academic outcomes that follow. 

The first-ever "evidence-based" guidelines in Canada for children this young.





Health Canada announces support for a project to prevent injuries among young Canadians taking part in after-school sports and recreational activities. 

COMMUNITY
Am J Prev Med. 2012 Mar;42(3):242-9
The CPAT provides a reliable and user-friendly means of auditing parks for their potential to promote physical activity. Future use of the CPAT can facilitate greater engagement of diverse groups in evaluating and advocating for improved parks and overall healthy community design.

OLDER ADULTS
This is the official website of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence. Our mission is to identify best practices in fall prevention and to help communities offer fall prevention programs to older people who are at risk of falling.

The Falling Monologues are a series of stories reflecting the thoughts, emotions, and lessons learned by some older adults after they’ve fallen, developed as a creative approach to spark interest and start discussion about fall prevention.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Am J Prev Med. 2012 Mar;42(3):e3-28
Results point to the high specificity of various sedentary behaviors (e.g., TV viewing vs sitting and socializing), suggesting that the research domain is complex and cannot be considered the simple absence of MVPA. Several sociodemographic and health factors appear reliably linked to sedentary behavior, yet there is an obvious absence of research focused on cognitive, social, and environmental factors that could be of use in anti-sedentary behavior interventions.

American Journal of Public Health Volume 102, Issue 4 (April 2012)
The authors Conclude: It is important to consider both intensity and type of physical activity when examining associations with mortality.

In this article the author argues that as an increasing number of people want to be outdoors for leisure time activities, physical activities and sports in Europe, the borders between training routines for sport and for everyday physical activities in the urban environment are blurring.

This brief focuses on land use and differences between communities and possible links between community policies and income level.

URBAN DESIGN
A trial in which Hopscotch patterns are painted on the streets of the Woudenberg municipality has resulted in a speed reduction of 3 km/hour. According to the researchers who did the trial, this is proof that one can influence behavior through the subliminal effects of images.

A core finding from our fieldwork and analysis of existing datasets was that inner city residents were more likely to walk and less likely to drive for any trip purpose than residents living elsewhere in Auckland/Wellington cities and metropolitan areas…..In line with the literature review findings, there was no notable difference in the amount of walking and cycling for recreation, sport, exercise or leisure between inner city Auckland/Wellington residents and other areas in our sample population.

Am J Prev Med. 2009 April; 36(4 Suppl): S99–123.e12.
This review provides a critical assessment of three types of built-environment measures relevant to the study of physical activity.

Signature parks help to define their cities and generate substantial civic, economic, and fiscal value.  City Parks Alliance and HR&A Advisors conducted a survey of the country’s most prominent signature park stewards to demonstrate how they contribute to the betterment of American cities and identify opportunities for improvement.

In practical terms, Urban Design provides a set of descriptive and analytical tools for working with the tangibles of landscape, built form, land use, and hard infrastructure. Its concepts and methods also enable us to examine and make sense of how people use space.

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