Cover image for Health and community design : the impact of the built environment on physical activity
Health and community design : the impact of the built environment on physical activity
Frank, Lawrence D.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : Island Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiii, 253 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Public health and urban form in America: historical precedents -- Physical activity and public health -- Physical activity: types and patterns -- Physical activity: children, the elderly, and the poor -- Understanding the built environment -- Transportation systems -- Land use patterns -- Urban design characteristics -- Application of principles: data from Seattle and Atlanta.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA566.7 .F736 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
RA566.7 .F736 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Health and Community Designis a comprehensive examination of how the built environment encourages or discourages physical activity, drawing together insights from a range of research on the relationships between urban form and public health. It provides important information about the factors that influence decisions about physical activity and modes of travel, and about how land use patterns can be changed to help overcome barriers to physical activity. Chapters examine:• the historical relationship between health and urban form in the United States • why urban and suburban development should be designed to promote moderate types of physical activity • the divergent needs and requirements of different groups of people and the role of those needs in setting policy • how different settings make it easier or more difficult to incorporate walking and bicycling into everyday activitiesA concluding chapter reviews the arguments presented and sketches a research agenda for the future.

Author Notes

Lawrence Frank is Associate Professor in the City Planning Program, College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Peter Engelke is Research Associate in the City Planning Program, College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Tom Schmid is Coordinator of the Active Community Environments (ACEs) team in the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the National Center for Chronic Disease Control and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Frank (Univ. of British Columbia), Engelke (Georgia Institute of Technology), and Schmid (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have prepared an unusual book with an important message. The authors buck conventional wisdom in demonstrating how prevailing patterns of residential and commercial development over the past half century have created a physical environment that is not conducive to routine exercise and thus is detrimental to good, long-term health. Despite the public fixation on athletics, they maintain, most American do not engage in vigorous exercise. The sort of activities that were once a part of many people's lives--walking and cycling--have become rare, in large part due to settings that are unfriendly to them. This multidisciplinary team of specialists cogently demonstrates how design does in fact change behavior and can be directly correlated to the routines in which people engage. The text underscores the complexity of this relationship and the multiple challenges to addressing the situation effectively. With proper understanding, however, substantive changes can be implemented. The basic premise of this book with its many particular insights are valuable for those in the design and planning professions, public officials of all kinds, and citizen activists who are concerned with improving their communities. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. R. Longstreth George Washington University

Table of Contents

Table of Figures
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgments
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Public Health and Urban Form In America
Chapter 3 Physical Activity and Public Health
Chapter 4 Physical Activity
Chapter 5 Physical Activity
Chapter 6 Understanding the Built Environment
Chapter 7 Transportation Systems
Chapter 8 Land Use Patterns
Chapter 9 Urban Design Characteristics
Chapter 10 Application of Principles
Chapter 11 Conclusion
Appendix: Summary of Selected Traffic Calming Studies