Community design variations in students' environmental walking supports

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Family & Consumer Studies
Author Gallimore, Jonathan Mark
Title Community design variations in students' environmental walking supports
Date 2009-05-17
Description There has been a precipitous decline in the number of children who walk to school, an activity that can burn calories and provide healthy bouts of physical activity. This study explores community design among three neighboring communities in Salt Lake County (New Urban, Mixed, and Suburban), and the role that community design plays in the micro-level physical features that support walkability along estimated routes to school. Fifth grade students and their parents participated from two schools that shared a boundary but had different community design philosophies. Walkability was assessed block by block using trained raters and an environmental audit that measures micro environmental features, the Irvine-Minnesota Inventory (IMI). The IMI items were combined into six conceptually derived scales: accessibility, crime safety, density, diversity, pleasurability, and traffic safety. Measures included IMI scores for blocks, for routes to school, and for the traffic variability along a route to school. Estimated walking routes to school were based upon the shortest most direct route. Blocks for the estimated route to school were weighted and combined to characterize each student's walking route. Four different questions about walkability were answered. First, at the block level, New Urban blocks were more walkable than Suburban and Mixed blocks, but Mixed and Suburban blocks did not differ. Second, when parents and children perceived fewer path barriers and crime concerns for the walk to school then the six IMI walking route scales also indicated a more walkable route. Third, walking routes in the New Urban community were more walkable than routes in the Mixed and Suburban communities, and the Mixed community's walking routes were more walkable than routes in the Suburban community. Fourth, the Suburban community's walking routes had more traffic safety variability than either the New Urban or Mixed communities' routes. At both block and route levels, the New Urban community is more walkable than the Mixed and Suburban communities and is perceived that way by parents and children. This study provides one of the few community comparisons using micro-level environmental measures of walkability. The use of walking routes was a different technique that showed key features that related to walking to school and that related to community design Philosophy;. This study has implications for walkable community design at micro and macro levels.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject School children; Pedestrian areas
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name MS
Language eng
Relation is Version of Digital reproduction of "Community design variations in students' environmental walking supports" J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections HE136.5 2009 .G35
Rights Management © Jonathan Mark Gallimore
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 248,638 bytes
Identifier us-etd2,121211
Source Original: University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections
Conversion Specifications Original scanned on Epson GT-30000 as 400 dpi to pdf using ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Professional Edition.
ARK ark:/87278/s62z1m2h
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-23
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 192834
Reference URL