February 15, 2013

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc
Resource Coordinator

Alberta Centre for Active Living

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.

On January 23, 2013 the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association and Leisure Information Network Re-Launched the Northern Links Website, supporting recreation practitioners in First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis communities in making positive changes through recreation.

As a result of this investigation, an identification and discussion of the contextual factors, design variables, and tools for planning and implementing shared bicycle/bus lanes is presented. The report provides recommendations for further needed research.

Updated from original 2007 version. From the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

In Copenhagen’s new bicycle strategy you can read about the new initiatives and plans, which lay down guidelines for the long term and overriding priorities within the bicycle area.

This review of research, newly published material and emerging practice has identified areas where additional advice and guidance on pedestrian facilities can be incorporated into the Austroads Guides. (You’ll need to register to download the free .pdf)

American Journal of Public Health: March 2013, Vol. 103, No. 3, pp. e85-e92
doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300917
The authors reported: a greater likelihood of cycling for those exposed to the public bicycle share program after the second season of implementation after we controlled for weather, built environment, and individual variables. They conclude: the implementation of a public bicycle share program can lead to greater likelihood of cycling among persons living in areas where bicycles are made available.

It is widely recognized that there is a need to increase levels of active and sustainable travel in British urban areas. The Understanding Walking and Cycling (UWAC) project, funded by the EPSRC, has examined the factors influencing everyday travel decisions and proposes a series of policy measures to increase levels of walking and cycling for short trips in urban areas.

In addition to the economic impact of the pedestrian bridge, Camoin Associates also considered the fiscal impacts on government revenues. The new business activity and wages resulting from visitor spending generates additional revenue for local and state government in the form of sales, hotel and income tax. The following is a summary of the major findings of the report……

Children who walk or cycle to school rather than being driven by their parents have an increased power of concentration, and the effect of this ‘exercise’ lasts all morning.
Muuvit is a simple and easy to use tool from Finland designed to engage children in healthy behaviours and regular physical activity. It provides a way to make learning fun and encourages children to learn and grow both individually and as a team. Muuvit is available internationally and allows for classrooms to be connected all over the world.

This Section consists of factsheets of monographs describing various disabilities and health conditions as well as considerations for each related to exercise and physical activity.  Including conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Exercise.

Two physicians who had just become geriatricians walked through a neighborhood in Baltimore asking passerby if they could describe what a geriatrician does. They found that “virtually no one” knew what a geriatrician was. The authors pointed out that if people do not know what a geriatrician does; they cannot support the growth of geriatrics or seek care from this specialist.

Journal of Applied Gerontology February 2013 vol. 32 no. 1 96-119
doi: 10.1177/0733464811399896
In short, the study finds: To market fall prevention, don’t mention falls. 

PLOS Medicine
The authors conclude that “More leisure time physical activity was associated with longer life expectancy across a range of activity levels and BMI groups.”

The U.S. Trust for Public Land is financing the implementation of weather-durable exercise equipment in 80 parks around the nation in order to create healthy outdoor playgrounds.

Their mission is to elevate physical activity as a public health priority in Ontario through engagement, education, advocacy and strategic alliances.

Lee’s Summit, Missouri is a city of just over 91,000 people located 20 miles from downtown Kansas City. During the last decade, Lee’s Summit experienced rapid growth, with the city’s population swelling by nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2010. Notable among Lee’s Summit accomplishments is the City’s Complete Streets policy, the first in the region. The policy helps ensure pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, disabled citizens and motorists are all considered in future transportation projects and accommodated fairly

Mission is a first-generation suburb of just under 10,000 people, located 8 miles south of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. At just 2.7 square miles, Mission feels like a small town despite being minutes away from the center city. Some might see Mission’s small size as an obstacle to economic vitality. But the community in Mission saw smart growth strategies as a way to raise the profile of the city far beyond its small size.

A document from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) discussing the importance of walking and cycling - includes resources.

Health & Place Online 4 Feb 2013 Accepted Manuscript
► Physical activity from a prospective behavioural intervention was explored. ► We calculated Walk Score® and neighbourhood walkability for each participant. ► Interactions between intervention and neighbourhood characteristics were examined. ► Participants in the intervention group reported significantly more physical activity.

This guidance from the Mayor of London gives practical advice about how to create spaces for play in new developments in urban areas for young people. This guidance will form part of the over-arching Shaping Neighbourhoods Portfolio. It is currently envisaged that it will have 4 parts:
A. Understanding Place
B. Lifetime Neighbourhoods and Neighbourhood Planning
C. Play and Informal Recreation
D. Accessible London

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