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International variation in neighborhood walkability, transit, and recreation environments using geographic information systems: the IPEN adult study.

Adams MA, Frank LD, Schipperijn J, Smith G, Chapman J, Christiansen LB, Coffee N, Salvo D, du Toit L, Dygrýn J, Hino AA, Lai PC, Mavoa S, Pinzón JD, Van de Weghe N, Cerin E, Davey R, Macfarlane D, Owen N, Sallis JF - Int J Health Geogr (2014)

Bottom Line: Results show that comparable measures can be created across a range of cultural settings revealing profound global differences in urban form relevant to physical activity.The highly variable measures of urban form will be used to explain individuals' physical activity, sedentary behaviors, body mass index, and other health outcomes on an international basis.Present measures provide the ability to estimate dose-response relationships from projected changes to the built environment that would otherwise be impossible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Exercise and Wellness Program, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion & Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS), Arizona State University, 425 N, 5th Street (MC3020), Phoenix, Arizona. marc.adams@asu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: The World Health Organization recommends strategies to improve urban design, public transportation, and recreation facilities to facilitate physical activity for non-communicable disease prevention for an increasingly urbanized global population. Most evidence supporting environmental associations with physical activity comes from single countries or regions with limited variation in urban form. This paper documents variation in comparable built environment features across countries from diverse regions.

Methods: The International Physical Activity and the Environment Network (IPEN) study of adults aimed to measure the full range of variation in the built environment using geographic information systems (GIS) across 12 countries on 5 continents. Investigators in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States followed a common research protocol to develop internationally comparable measures. Using detailed instructions, GIS-based measures included features such as walkability (i.e., residential density, street connectivity, mix of land uses), and access to public transit, parks, and private recreation facilities around each participant's residential address using 1-km and 500-m street network buffers.

Results: Eleven of 12 countries and 15 cities had objective GIS data on built environment features. We observed a 38-fold difference in median residential densities, a 5-fold difference in median intersection densities and an 18-fold difference in median park densities. Hong Kong had the highest and North Shore, New Zealand had the lowest median walkability index values, representing a difference of 9 standard deviations in GIS-measured walkability.

Conclusions: Results show that comparable measures can be created across a range of cultural settings revealing profound global differences in urban form relevant to physical activity. These measures allow cities to be ranked more precisely than previously possible. The highly variable measures of urban form will be used to explain individuals' physical activity, sedentary behaviors, body mass index, and other health outcomes on an international basis. Present measures provide the ability to estimate dose-response relationships from projected changes to the built environment that would otherwise be impossible.

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Flow chart for GIS template creation and IPEN Coordinating Center (IPEN CC) processes.
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Fig1: Flow chart for GIS template creation and IPEN Coordinating Center (IPEN CC) processes.

Mentions: Figure 1 presents a flow chart and shows a high-level view of the process for creating and assessing GIS measures. Before the IPEN CC provided guidance on the individual-level GIS component for the study, they reviewed the literature for definitions and procedures for various built environment measures. This process also included discussions with urban planners, a civil engineer, IPEN co-investigators, and GIS analysts in each participating country. This process uncovered meaningful differences in the literature, and early discussions with each country’s GIS team revealed there were important differences in available data, definitions, and GIS procedures used to create variables across countries. For example, residential density could be defined by using the number of people or housing units in the numerator, and street connectivity could be defined as the number of intersections, block length, density of intersections, or link-to-node comparisons [47]. As others have noted, the adoption of standard metrics of connectivity could improve comparisons of results [12].Figure 1


International variation in neighborhood walkability, transit, and recreation environments using geographic information systems: the IPEN adult study.

Adams MA, Frank LD, Schipperijn J, Smith G, Chapman J, Christiansen LB, Coffee N, Salvo D, du Toit L, Dygrýn J, Hino AA, Lai PC, Mavoa S, Pinzón JD, Van de Weghe N, Cerin E, Davey R, Macfarlane D, Owen N, Sallis JF - Int J Health Geogr (2014)

Flow chart for GIS template creation and IPEN Coordinating Center (IPEN CC) processes.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4221715&req=5

Fig1: Flow chart for GIS template creation and IPEN Coordinating Center (IPEN CC) processes.
Mentions: Figure 1 presents a flow chart and shows a high-level view of the process for creating and assessing GIS measures. Before the IPEN CC provided guidance on the individual-level GIS component for the study, they reviewed the literature for definitions and procedures for various built environment measures. This process also included discussions with urban planners, a civil engineer, IPEN co-investigators, and GIS analysts in each participating country. This process uncovered meaningful differences in the literature, and early discussions with each country’s GIS team revealed there were important differences in available data, definitions, and GIS procedures used to create variables across countries. For example, residential density could be defined by using the number of people or housing units in the numerator, and street connectivity could be defined as the number of intersections, block length, density of intersections, or link-to-node comparisons [47]. As others have noted, the adoption of standard metrics of connectivity could improve comparisons of results [12].Figure 1

Bottom Line: Results show that comparable measures can be created across a range of cultural settings revealing profound global differences in urban form relevant to physical activity.The highly variable measures of urban form will be used to explain individuals' physical activity, sedentary behaviors, body mass index, and other health outcomes on an international basis.Present measures provide the ability to estimate dose-response relationships from projected changes to the built environment that would otherwise be impossible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Exercise and Wellness Program, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion & Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS), Arizona State University, 425 N, 5th Street (MC3020), Phoenix, Arizona. marc.adams@asu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: The World Health Organization recommends strategies to improve urban design, public transportation, and recreation facilities to facilitate physical activity for non-communicable disease prevention for an increasingly urbanized global population. Most evidence supporting environmental associations with physical activity comes from single countries or regions with limited variation in urban form. This paper documents variation in comparable built environment features across countries from diverse regions.

Methods: The International Physical Activity and the Environment Network (IPEN) study of adults aimed to measure the full range of variation in the built environment using geographic information systems (GIS) across 12 countries on 5 continents. Investigators in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States followed a common research protocol to develop internationally comparable measures. Using detailed instructions, GIS-based measures included features such as walkability (i.e., residential density, street connectivity, mix of land uses), and access to public transit, parks, and private recreation facilities around each participant's residential address using 1-km and 500-m street network buffers.

Results: Eleven of 12 countries and 15 cities had objective GIS data on built environment features. We observed a 38-fold difference in median residential densities, a 5-fold difference in median intersection densities and an 18-fold difference in median park densities. Hong Kong had the highest and North Shore, New Zealand had the lowest median walkability index values, representing a difference of 9 standard deviations in GIS-measured walkability.

Conclusions: Results show that comparable measures can be created across a range of cultural settings revealing profound global differences in urban form relevant to physical activity. These measures allow cities to be ranked more precisely than previously possible. The highly variable measures of urban form will be used to explain individuals' physical activity, sedentary behaviors, body mass index, and other health outcomes on an international basis. Present measures provide the ability to estimate dose-response relationships from projected changes to the built environment that would otherwise be impossible.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus