Conference Interactive Program
To view the 2013 Annual Meeting Interactive Program
TRB 91st Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)
Health, Transportation, and Data
Jan 23 2012 10:45AM- 12:30PM
Hilton, International Center
National Evidence Regarding Behavior and Physical Activity in New Urbanist Neighborhoods (12-0483)
Although proponents have emphasized new urbanism’s ability to reduce automobile dependence, increase walking, and improve the health of its residents, there is a paucity of research to support these claims. We surveyed residents of 34 neighborhoods in 12 U.S. states to examine whether the travel behavior and physical activity of new urbanist neighborhood residents differed from their conventional suburban counterparts. We used a matched-pair design in which each new urbanist neighborhood was matched with a conventional suburban neighborhood in the same municipality. Regression analysis was used to examine associations between neighborhood type and the travel behavior and physical activity outcomes. Findings indicate that there was no difference in vehicle mileage, even though new urbanist residents made more trips – by car, non-motorized, and within their neighborhood - than residents of conventional suburban neighborhoods. Thus, trips taken by new urbanist residents were shorter in length than trips taken by their suburban counterparts. For physical activity, new urbanist residents were more likely to meet current guidelines for weekly physical activity time. As a mitigation tool for the global warming effects of travel, new urbanism has yet to fulfill its anticipated goals. However, planners and health advocates should note the potential increases in physical activity and increased travel within the neighborhood that may come with new urbanism. Planners and developers can use this evidence as a basis for supporting new urbanism and its tenets, while addressing the potential negative effects of increased driving within such neighborhoods.
Rodriguez, Daniel A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Combs, Tabitha , University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
McDonald, Noreen , University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Greene, Jessica , University of Oregon
Schlossberg, Marc A., University of Oregon
Larco, Nico , University of Oregon
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