The global hypothesis of this research proposal is that physical and social changes in the community will lead to improved health and well-being of residents. """"""""Community Design and Health: Starting from the Ground Up"""""""" will study an established community recreational activity, community gardening, for its potential to promote public health through increased physical activity, nutrition, social engagement, and cognitive stimulation with the long-term public health goals of disease prevention and health promotion. The broader focus of our research activities extend beyond gardens, which are simply an advantageous model for addressing our global hypothesis as stated above. The data we collect and the tools we employ will provide important information to facilitate community change by strengthening the evidence base around community interventions and providing much needed information to our community partners and local planners regarding the connection between community design and public health and the role of local green space in shaping health status. This project is designed as a mentored research opportunity for the candidate to develop expertise and a diverse set of skills drawing on the sciences and tools of architecture and planning and behavior sciences together with skills in epidemiology and environmental health to craft and evaluate interventions that seek to promote active living and well-being in different behavior settings. This project will be conducted collaboratively with Denver Urban Gardens (DUG), Groundwork Denver (GWD), and Front Range Earth Force (FREF), three community organizations with many years of service to Denver neighborhoods.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCD1-EWS (K1))
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Williamsjohnson, Mildred M
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University of Colorado Denver
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Litt, Jill S; Lambert, Jeffrey Richard; Glueck, Deborah H (2017) Gardening and age-related weight gain: Results from a cross-sectional survey of Denver residents. Prev Med Rep 8:221-225
Litt, J S; Schmiege, S J; Hale, J W et al. (2015) Exploring ecological, emotional and social levers of self-rated health for urban gardeners and non-gardeners: A path analysis. Soc Sci Med 144:1-8
Hale, James; Knapp, Corrine; Bardwell, Lisa et al. (2011) Connecting food environments and health through the relational nature of aesthetics: gaining insight through the community gardening experience. Soc Sci Med 72:1853-63
Litt, Jill S; Soobader, Mah-J; Turbin, Mark S et al. (2011) The influence of social involvement, neighborhood aesthetics, and community garden participation on fruit and vegetable consumption. Am J Public Health 101:1466-73
Teig, Ellen; Amulya, Joy; Bardwell, Lisa et al. (2009) Collective efficacy in Denver, Colorado: Strengthening neighborhoods and health through community gardens. Health Place 15:1115-22