The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning
- New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece
Chapter 10: Healthy Urban Design: Maryland’s Smart Codes and the Pedestrian Environment
10. Healthy urban design: Maryland’s Smart Codes and the pedestrian environment Kelly J. Clifton, Andréa Livi Smith and Rodney Harrell INTRODUCTION The United States has experienced a marked decline in the numbers of people who walk to work and other destinations. This decline in walking coincides with the development of an urban built environment that is increasingly centered on the automobile and less accommodating to the pedestrian. Related to these concerns about the lack of favorable walking environment is the increasing awareness of the public health issues arising from the sedentary lifestyle of many Americans, such as the near epidemic proportions of overweight and obesity in the United States (US Department of Health and Human Services 2001; Mokdad et al. 2001). One of the most compelling theories to explain this increase in obesity is the signiﬁcant decline in levels of physical activity among Americans today compared with 50 years ago (Nestle and Jacobson 2000) and some hypothesize that the auto-oriented nature of the built environment may contribute to this inactivity (Funder’s Network 2003). The automobile is also attributed to other transportation-related health concerns stemming from the air and water quality impacts of its use and the risks associated with exposure to toxic pollutants (King et al. 2002). In order to increase physical activity among Americans, some are calling for a regulatory approach that leverages land use and transportation policies at multiple levels of government to create environments that support ‘active transportation’ – or human-powered modes (King et al. 2002)...
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