Planning for Physical Activity in Low Income Areas

Kristen Day discusses the importance of sensitive planning in increasing physical activity in urban, low income communities.
December 11, 2003, 2pm PST | Connie Chung
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Kristen Day, associate professor of urban and regional planning at UC Irvine, argues for physical solutions to obesity and health problems that are sensitive to the needs and complexities of low income communities and communities of color. She argues that physical features, such as pedestrian walkways and bike paths, "have little to do...with the design of urban settings" in places in the U.S. that are disproportionately occupied by low income residents and minorities. She writes: "Indeed, many older urban environments boast an impressive array of the very features that are hypothesized to support physical activity–grid street patterns that increase connectivity, high densities, public transportation, sidewalks and a mix of land uses. Other physical features may better explain lower rates of active living in low-income, urban environments–insufficient parks, high crime rates and fears for safety, pollution, lack of jobs to walk to, dirty streets and sidewalks and residential overcrowding that limits opportunities for exercise at home."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, December 2, 2003 in Planners Network
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