Urban Ecology

Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.
American journal of health promotion: AJHP (Impact Factor: 2.37). 09/2003; 18(1):47-57. DOI: 10.4278/0890-1171-18.1.47
Source: PubMed


To determine the relationship between urban sprawl, health, and health-related behaviors.
Cross-sectional analysis using hierarchical modeling to relate characteristics of individuals and places to levels of physical activity, obesity, body mass index (BMI), hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.
U.S. counties (448) and metropolitan areas (83).
Adults (n = 206,992) from pooled 1998, 1999, and 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
Sprawl indices, derived with principal components analysis from census and other data, served as independent variables. Self-reported behavior and health status from BRFSS served as dependent variables.
After controlling for demographic and behavioral covariates, the county sprawl index had small but significant associations with minutes walked (p = .004), obesity (p < .001), BMI (p = .005), and hypertension (p = .018). Residents of sprawling counties were likely to walk less during leisure time, weigh more, and have greater prevalence of hypertension than residents of compact counties. At the metropolitan level, sprawl was similarly associated with minutes walked (p = .04) but not with the other variables.
This ecologic study reveals that urban form could be significantly associated with some forms of physical activity and some health outcomes. More research is needed to refine measures of urban form, improve measures of physical activity, and control for other individual and environmental influences on physical activity, obesity, and related health outcomes.

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Available from: Tom Schmid, Jul 08, 2014
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    • "Many studies signify the need for better conceptual models to guide future studies (Handy 2005; Handy et al. 2002; Ewing et al. 2003; Owen et al. 2004). Other than the cross-sectional study design, researchers must undertake longitudinal design to achieve a " deeper examination of direct and indirect relationships, interactions, and hypothesized paths of causality " (Saelens and Handy 2008). "

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    • "The landscape sprawl creates has four dimensions: a population that is widely dispersed in lowdensity development; rigidly separated homes, shops, and workplaces; a network of roads marked by huge blocks and poor access; and a lack of well-defined, thriving activity centers, such as downtowns and town centers. Most of the other features usually associated with sprawl – the lack of transportation choices, relative uniformity of housing options or the difficulty of walking – are a result of these conditions'' (Ewing et al. 2003). Later in 2003, Burchell and Galley suggested a newer version: ‗‗Sprawl is low-density, leapfrog development characterized by unlimited outward extension. "
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    ABSTRACT: Urban sprawl is a well-researched topic and its negative effects on transportation, environment and social interactions are shown in many studies. However the related literature mainly comes from developed countries, and the developing countries, particularly those located in the Middle East and North Africa have a small part. This paper investigates the presence of urban sprawl in the urban developments in the periphery of the mid-sized and small large cities of central Iran. Yazd and Kashan are taken as case-study cities. The observation criteria are based on the urban sprawl definitions that are accepted and widely used. The four measures that are observed in case of these two cities are discrepancy between urban growth rate and population increase, decrease in population density, leapfrog and scattered developments, and lack of public open spaces. The findings of the study show that urban sprawl is seen in the urban development pattern of both cities. This sprawl partially started in 1970s and increased dramatically after 1980. The paper argues about the necessity of more in-depth studies about presence and morphology of urban sprawl in mid- sized and small large cities of Iran and other countries of the Middle East and North Africa.
    Knowledge Management Research & Practice 06/2014; 6(2):25-41. · 0.41 Impact Factor
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    • "Yes Ewing et al. (2003) "
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    ABSTRACT: What research supports the view that compact, walkable, diverse (CWD) neighborhoods are beneficial for urban residents? To make this assessment, we searched the literature to try to understand the current status of evidence regarding claims about the CWD neighborhood. We find that research linking CWD neighborhoods to effects on residents coalesces around three main topics: social relations, health, and safety. We conclude that on the basis of the literature reviewed, most of the intended benefits of the CWD neighborhood have been researched and found to have significant, positive effects for urban dwellers. While physical factors are but one element affecting behavior and outcomes, and the issues of self-selection and causality remain, overall, key dimensions of the CWD neighborhood have been found to positively affect social interaction, health, and safety.
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