Assessing the Health Impacts of Community and Street Design

The primary hypothesis of this research is that community design factors - specifically, street network characteristics and street design features - are associated with physical activity and health disparities. To test this hypothesis, the researchers will assemble existing health-related datasets from a number of sources, including the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), and link them to their own unique geographic information system (GIS) database of community design, transportation network, and built environment measures for 24 medium-sized California cities. These cities include some of the highest rates of walking and biking to work in the country, as well as some with the lowest. The researchers will supplement these data sources with their own travel and health survey of recent in-movers, in order to better account for issues of self-selection. Spatial analyses in GIS will be conducted in addition to multilevel hierarchical random effect statistical models at the Census block group level of geography. Few health-outcome related community design studies have been conducted at this level of disaggregation, and none has been based on so thorough a characterization of street network and street design features. The resulting database will allow the researchers to quantify direct impacts of the built environment, in terms of outcomes such as the amount of physical activity in the daily routine of a population. The researchers will also investigate and characterize the relationship between built environment factors and health outcomes such as respiratory health, cardiovascular diseases, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Principal Investigators:

      Marshall, Wesley

      Garrick, Norman

    • Start Date: 20100901
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20120831
    • Source Data: RiP Project 29320

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01480738
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT07-G-0001, UCNR23-1
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: May 7 2013 1:01AM