Zoning code reforms have emerged throughout the U.S. as a potential policy strategy for reducing sprawl, reliance on cars, and increasing physical activity (PA) opportunities. Code reforms seek to create pedestrian- friendly neighborhoods with increased street connectivity, mixed-use and higher density, open space, transportation infrastructure, and a traditional neighborhood structure. The reforms have been adopted by communities in at least 35 states, with the number of communities considering such reforms increasing regularly;have predominantly been adopted in the 2000s;and are more active living-oriented than traditional land use-oriented zoning codes. The overall goal of this project is to address the potential impact of community level intervention via code reforms on the community environment and physical activity related behaviors. Specifically, we plan to use multilevel multivariate regression, structural equation modeling and mediation analyses to link zoning code reform policies obtained from communities representing 75% of the US population with: (1) parks/ green space (compiled using ArcGIS and US Geological Survey);(2) sprawl/street connectivity and traffic safety using Census Tiger files;(3) population density and neighborhood disadvantage using ACS data;and (4) pedestrian fatalities using data from NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS);and (5) PA-related behaviors obtained from the 2009-2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the 2009-2012 American Community Survey. Analyses will account for the moderating impact of community demographic/SES characteristics obtained from the Census, will include state clustering, and will control for policy lag effects, state enabling laws, year, state fixed effects, household and individual-level demographic/SES characteristics, county-level and individual level obesity from BRFSS, and county health rankings from the University of Wisconsin. Supplemental analyses of endogeneity among the community environment and PA behaviors will include comparison of the 2009 data with data from the 2000/2001 time frame as well as examination of correlated errors. At the conclusion of this study, we will provide counties and municipalities nationwide as well as the active living, public health, urban planning, and transportation fields with the needed evidence to determine the extent to which code reforms may help them achieve more active living-oriented physical environments and higher levels of PA/active living.

Public Health Relevance

Zoning code reforms have emerged throughout the U.S. as a potential policy strategy for reducing sprawl, reliance on cars, and increasing physical activity opportunities. The reforms have been adopted by communities in at least 35 states, with the number of communities considering such reforms increasing regularly;have predominantly been adopted in the 2000s;and are more active living-oriented than traditional land use-oriented zoning codes. The proposed research will be the first of its kind to provide counties and municipalities nationwide as well as the public health, active living, urban planning, and transportation fields with the needed evidence to determine the extent to which code reforms may help them achieve more active living-oriented physical environments and higher levels of physical activity.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01CA158035-01A1
Application #
8294129
Study Section
Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
Program Officer
Mckinnon, Robin A
Project Start
2012-05-01
Project End
2015-04-30
Budget Start
2012-05-01
Budget End
2013-04-30
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$520,703
Indirect Cost
$182,045
Name
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department
Miscellaneous
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
098987217
City
Chicago
State
IL
Country
United States
Zip Code
60612
Nicholson, Lisa M; Turner, Lindsey; Slater, Sandy J et al. (2014) Developing a Measure of Traffic Calming Associated with Elementary School Students' Active Transport. Transp Res D Transp Environ 33:17-25