May, 18, 2012

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Round-Up is going on vacation and will return May 31st.

Note: where possible, we provide the DOI link to research papers in the Info Round-Up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage:  Access to research articles will be dependent on your institutional rights.

A new brochure (.pdf) from the California Department of Transportation helps explain the department's Complete Streets approach and its benefits.

A Princeton survey reveals that 83% of Americans favor maintained or increased federal funding for sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike paths.

This methodology and user guide will be of key interest to professionals at both national and local levels: transport planners, traffic engineers, and special interest groups working on transport, walking, cycling or the environment, as well as health economists, physical activity experts and health promotion experts.

From its inception, the NTPP was designed as a demonstration program to gather statistical information on transportation mode share shifts before and after the implementation of nonmotorized transportation infrastructure and educational or promotional programs. The program was intended to "demonstrate the extent to which bicycling and walking can carry a significant part of the transportation load, and represent a major portion of the transportation solution, within selected communities."

This report focuses on active transportation as a means to improve health and quality of life in Toronto. It reviews the literature on the health impacts of walking and cycling for transportation in urban areas, and also discusses the economic, social, environmental, and transportation system benefits. It presents data on walking and cycling mode shares in the City of Toronto and quantifies the health benefits of active transportation in Toronto. It also analyzes collision data and quantifies the costs of pedestrian and cyclist collisions and injuries in Toronto. Finally, it draws on secondary sources and interviews with municipal staff in other jurisdictions to identify strategies for increasing the safety and use of active transportation across Toronto.

Take a look at new guidance from the UK on local measures to promote walking and cycling as a form of transport or recreation.

Childhood obesity rates are soaring, youth participation in sports and other active pursuits is plummeting, and a generation is coming of age with little understanding of the joy and freedom of unsupervised play. There's a simple solution—but all across the nation our schools earn a failing grade when it comes to letting kids ride their bikes.

This document provides a top 10 list of important program characteristics to engage girls and young women in active after school programs.

Childhood Obesity February 2012 | Volume 8, Number 1
Growing concern over childhood obesity has prompted a focus on underlying epidemics of physical inactivity and poor nutrition.

This document from the National Center for Safe Routes to School, will help communities identify the schools with the greatest need for walking infrastructure improvements and the greatest potential for improvement. The methodology may be helpful for Complete Streets implementation, especially in locating high priority gaps or deficiencies in the walking network.

The document is large - a 48 MB PDF – so please give it time to download to your computer. 
This guide shares perspective on community engagement in planning and visioning, and describes how people can work with local government to shape their communities. You will read the personal stories of experts in the field and delve into case studies from places as different as the state of Hawaii, the city of Olympia, WA, and the quaint village of Hamburg, NY.

Walk & Talk from Every Body Walk!

Active Living for All Ages: "Creating Neighborhoods Around Transit” shows how transit-oriented development (TOD) facilitates the independence and mobility of older adults. (6 Minute video).

The Built Environment Health Promotion Strategy is one of many health promotion initiatives being developed by the Population and Public Health portfolio. The Strategy addresses the Be Healthy, Stay Healthy strategic priority outlined in Alberta Health Service’s Becoming the Best: Alberta’s 5-Year Health Action Plan 2010:2015.

Built for kids highlights how built environments are important to the well-being of children.
It provides information to help increase their participation in planning built environments so they respond to their particular wants and needs. It includes a child-friendly indicator framework, as well as case studies, that highlight how children and young people have contributed to the development of the built environment in their community.

In Australia, there is a lack of practical tools that can be used by local government authorities and others to develop and encourage the child-friendliness of their communities. This report seeks to address this gap with a particular focus on child friendly communities and the physical environment.

Designed to help citizens participate in the transpiration planning process, the new guide from the TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program, will help ensure transportation projects best fit the surrounding community. Understanding professional responsibility, the flexibility in design options, and collaborative partnerships are among the topics addressed.

This link takes you to a page with a fact sheet and links to many other resources as well.

The purpose of this handbook is to provide assistance to communities who may be at different stages of complete streets policy and/or facility implementation. This includes the following:
• “Just Getting Started”
• “Moving Forward”
 • “Building Upon Successes”

The Built Environment Health Promotion Strategy is one of many health promotion initiatives being developed by the Population and Public Health portfolio within Alberta Health Services (AHS). A Steering Committee comprised of directors and managers with interest in the built environment are providing oversight and direction for strategy development. It was agreed that a synthesis of existing evidence on population level, health promotion through the built environment was needed to inform strategy development.

An urban trail is a public path that provides a well-maintained corridor through an urban environment. Urban trails allow people to get from one place to another on foot, by bicycle, on roller skates or skateboards, with strollers or in wheelchairs, without feeling any threat from nearby motor vehicles

This UNESCO advocacy brief gives an overview on up-to-date facts and figures and offers strategies to overcome inequalities in physical education.

Coaching Association of Canada, ISSN 1496-1539 April 2012, Vol. 12, No. 2
The dearth of women in coaching in Canada has been the focus of study and discussion over the past 20 years. Despite increasing numbers of female participants at all levels of sport, the percentage of female coaches tends to hover around 30% with even fewer women coaching at the highest competitive levels….

This fact sheet explores some of the risks and benefits associated with unlocking stairwells for physical activity.

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