A Comparison of Two Atlanta Built Environments: Do they Offer Equitable Opportunities for Enhancing Physical Health?

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Abstract Summary

The built environment includes all of the physical parts of where we live and work. This not only includes homes and buildings, but also infrastructure including sidewalks, parks, open space, and green space. The built environment influences physical health to combat obesity and other chronic diseases that may plague urban populations. All built environments, however, aren’t created equal. The purpose of this research is to analyze specific usage levels of the Atlanta Beltline, a loop of multi-use trails and parks that will ultimately span 45 neighborhoods across the City of Atlanta. Built environments similar to the Beltline provide a space for people to engage in free or low-cost physical activities including walking, running, cycling, or other modes of exercise. The Beltline currently spans two demographically diverse parts of Atlanta via the East and Westside Trails. By using an observational method, SOPARC, the System for Observing Play and Active Recreation in Communities, observations will be made that include usage and activity levels from different access points along each trail. Trail amenities and the diversity and quantity of organized health promotion activities will also be assessed to determine if the Beltline provides equitable access to physical activity opportunities across different geographies and populations in Atlanta.


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Public Health
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