Practitioners

Urban planners, public health leaders and business owners can all help people be active in their neighborhoods. Teachers, principals and school district directors can help children be active before, during and after school. Relying on evidence-based strategies in your work will help you be as effective as possible. Active Living Research has resources to provide practitioners with guidance on promising approaches for preventing obesity and promoting physical activity.

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The Path to Complete Streets in Underserved Communities: Lessons from U.S. Case Studies

Funding Source: 
Active Living Research
Date: 
10/16/2014
Description: 

Clifton, K., Morrissey, S., Bronstein, S. (2014). The Path to Complete Streets in Underserved Communities: Lessons from U.S. Case Studies. Portland, OR: Portland State University.

This report highlights four jurisdictions that have worked to provide transportation systems that consider the needs of all users: the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan; the City of Decatur, Georgia; the Metropolitan Planning Organization and City of Nashville, Tennessee; and the City of Portland, Oregon. Each case study highlights the ways in which communities have catered to the transportation disadvantaged through planning, designing, and implementing Complete Streets policies.

The four communities highlighted in this study all have taken steps to implement Complete Streets policies and projects that either target the transportation disadvantaged directly or greatly benefit them. Methods for implementing change included community engagement that targeted transport disadvantaged populations, active public involvement strategies such as community walking audits, and the development of equity-oriented project criteria. These methods helped build support for future projects, and identified priorities based on direct input from community members.

Although the Complete Streets Coalition provides a guide to writing effective Complete Streets policy, there is little research or information on how communities have specifically used Complete Streets policies to serve the transportation disadvantaged. The intent of this report is to provide guidance and teachable lessons to other communities struggling to address the unserved transportation needs of older adults, children, people with disabilities, low income households, and ethnically diverse communities.

This report was funded by Active Living Research through a Commissioned Analysis Award.

Authors: 
Kelly Clifton, Sarah Bronstein, & Sara Morrissey
Organization: 
Portland State University
Study Type: 
Location by State: 

Cost Analysis for Improving Park Facilities to Promote Park-based Physical Activity

Date: 
12/16/2015
Description: 

Floyd, M.F., Suau, L.J., Layton, R., Maddock, J.E., & Bitsura-Meszaros, K. (2015). Cost Analysis for Improving Park Facilities to Promote Park-based Physical Activity. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University, NC Cooperative Extension Resources.

Abstract: 

Because public parks are widely available in communities across the country, parks are recognized as important environments for promoting active lifestyles. A growing number of studies suggest that parks contribute significantly to physical activity among adults and children. Research conducted in parks demonstrates that particular areas within parks produce more activity than others. Results from these kinds of studies have inspired researchers to more closely examine the potential of parks to promote physical activity. These examinations use intervention studies and natural experiments. In these studies, researchers are able to obtain baseline measures on park use and activity in a park before an improvement occurs and compare the measures to data obtained following the improvement. Such comparisons evaluate the extent to which park facilities encourage increased use and activity levels. Studies of this kind show promising results. In general, parks are used more often and users are more active following improvements or renovations.

Translating this research evidence to on-the-ground planning and construction inevitably shifts the discussion to financial considerations. What are the financial costs of adding or maintaining new facilities that could increase use and activity? What are the life span costs relative to increased use and additional physical activity? Answers to such questions can provide objective information to park officials, policymakers, and citizens to help them make more informed decisions about park facilities construction to promote active lifestyles. Park and recreation agencies at all levels of government are challenged now more than ever to provide high quality services in a fiscally conservative environment. As public parks and recreation facilities are increasingly positioned as health resources, greater demands for providing and using parks are expected. Park improvement projects with the stated purpose of encouraging activity need to be supported by data on the financial costs associated with making such improvements.

The goal of this analysis is to provide realistic and objective estimates of costs of providing park facilities that can increase physical activity.

This report was funded by Active Living Research through a Commissioned Analysis Report.

Authors: 
Myron F. Floyd, Luis J. Suau, Robby Layton, Jay E. Maddock, & Karly Bitsura-Meszaros
Organization: 
North Carolina State University
Study Type: 
Location by State: 

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