2014 - Research

Designing Healthy Neighborhoods

Contributions of the Built Environment to Physical Activity in Detroit

Detroit is a city with low-density housing and a high proportion of lower-socioeconomic-status multiethnic residents. Physical activity tends to be lower in low- to moderate-income urban communities.

  • To understand the design components of healthy neighborhoods, interrelationships between built environment characteristics and walking behavior were studied for three neighborhoods.
  • Results suggest that as independent predictors, higher density and multiple land uses tended to deter walking.
  • However, residents of neighborhoods with strong well-connected street networks (both locally and globally) reported higher levels of walking as compared to those in less well-connected neighborhoods.

Jean D. Wineman, Robert W Marans, Amy J. Schulz, Diaan Louis van der Westhuizen, Graciela B. Mentz, and Paul Max. Designing Healthy Neighborhoods: Contributions of the Built Environment to Physical Activity in Detroit. Journal of Planning Education and Research 2014;34:180-189.

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Authored by: 
Jean D. Wineman
Robert W Marans
Amy J. Schulz
Diaan Louis van der Westhuizen
Graciela B. Mentz
and Paul Max.