2013; Pearce et al., 2008). Individual engagement in physical activity results to some

2013; Pearce et al., 2008). Individual engagement in physical activity results to some degree from personal choice, but is also a function of the built environment (Ferdinand et al., 2012). One aspect of the built environment, the presence and mix of attractive destinations in and around a neighborhood, has been found to be associated with increased physical activity (Berke et al., 2007), a behavioral mechanism linking neighborhood structure to health. Access to certain types of destinations like post offices, convenience stores, schools, transit stops, and shopping malls is associated with transport-related walking, not walking for recreation or exercise (McCormack et al., 2008). Powell and colleagues (2003) emphasize the importance of convenience in the choice to walk for exercise in one’s neighborhood; in their study, respondents with the ability to get to places less than ten minutes from their home were most likely to be physically active. On the other hand, some studies demonstrate that it is the quality and attractiveness of the recreational resources that promote greater physical activity, not the proximity of the destination (Kaczynski et al., 2008; Sugiyama et al., 2010). Studies targeting low-income neighborhoods find mixed results, with some reporting no association of physical activity resources (i.e., parks, trails, and community centers) with exercise (Heinrich et al., 2007) and others finding that residents of low-income neighborhoods derive greater benefit from nearby physical activity resources (i.e., gyms and parks) compared to residents of higher-income neighborhoods (Lee et al., 2007). Social Mechanisms Social scientists are interested in the ways neighborhood environments are associated with the quantity and quality of social relationships, and ultimately the resources produced from these relationships that can impact health among residents. Persistent segregation in cities across the country by race and socioMangafodipir (trisodium)MedChemExpress Mangafodipir (trisodium) economic status produces profoundly unequal neighborhood environments in the United States (Logan, 2011; Logan Stults, 2011; Squires Kubrin, 2005), where the urban poor contend not only with their own poverty, but also with the social effects of Lasalocid (sodium) cancer living in a neighborhood where most of their neighbors are also poor (W. J. Wilson, 1987). Residents of low-income neighborhoods face socialAuthor Manuscript Author Manuscript Author Manuscript Author ManuscriptSoc Sci Med. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 April 07.WaltonPageisolation from mainstream social ties and institutions that can lead to social mobility (Briggs, 1998), and report having fewer and lower-quality social relationships that may be especially important for individuals faced with economic disadvantage (Smith, 2005; Wacquant Wilson, 1989). Neighborhood disadvantage is also related to lower levels of social cohesion and social control, resulting in lower trust and poorer quality social relationships among residents (Jencks Mayer, 1990; Small Newman, 2001). Gieryn (2000) suggests that social processes happen through the material forms that we design and build; he contends that neighborhood places arrange patterns of face-to-face interaction that provide bases for social relationships. Some recent work has begun to empirically-examine how neighborhood design can influence social relationships. For instance, Leyden (2003) finds that residents of pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use neighborhoods are more likely than those living in car-oriente.2013; Pearce et al., 2008). Individual engagement in physical activity results to some degree from personal choice, but is also a function of the built environment (Ferdinand et al., 2012). One aspect of the built environment, the presence and mix of attractive destinations in and around a neighborhood, has been found to be associated with increased physical activity (Berke et al., 2007), a behavioral mechanism linking neighborhood structure to health. Access to certain types of destinations like post offices, convenience stores, schools, transit stops, and shopping malls is associated with transport-related walking, not walking for recreation or exercise (McCormack et al., 2008). Powell and colleagues (2003) emphasize the importance of convenience in the choice to walk for exercise in one’s neighborhood; in their study, respondents with the ability to get to places less than ten minutes from their home were most likely to be physically active. On the other hand, some studies demonstrate that it is the quality and attractiveness of the recreational resources that promote greater physical activity, not the proximity of the destination (Kaczynski et al., 2008; Sugiyama et al., 2010). Studies targeting low-income neighborhoods find mixed results, with some reporting no association of physical activity resources (i.e., parks, trails, and community centers) with exercise (Heinrich et al., 2007) and others finding that residents of low-income neighborhoods derive greater benefit from nearby physical activity resources (i.e., gyms and parks) compared to residents of higher-income neighborhoods (Lee et al., 2007). Social Mechanisms Social scientists are interested in the ways neighborhood environments are associated with the quantity and quality of social relationships, and ultimately the resources produced from these relationships that can impact health among residents. Persistent segregation in cities across the country by race and socioeconomic status produces profoundly unequal neighborhood environments in the United States (Logan, 2011; Logan Stults, 2011; Squires Kubrin, 2005), where the urban poor contend not only with their own poverty, but also with the social effects of living in a neighborhood where most of their neighbors are also poor (W. J. Wilson, 1987). Residents of low-income neighborhoods face socialAuthor Manuscript Author Manuscript Author Manuscript Author ManuscriptSoc Sci Med. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 April 07.WaltonPageisolation from mainstream social ties and institutions that can lead to social mobility (Briggs, 1998), and report having fewer and lower-quality social relationships that may be especially important for individuals faced with economic disadvantage (Smith, 2005; Wacquant Wilson, 1989). Neighborhood disadvantage is also related to lower levels of social cohesion and social control, resulting in lower trust and poorer quality social relationships among residents (Jencks Mayer, 1990; Small Newman, 2001). Gieryn (2000) suggests that social processes happen through the material forms that we design and build; he contends that neighborhood places arrange patterns of face-to-face interaction that provide bases for social relationships. Some recent work has begun to empirically-examine how neighborhood design can influence social relationships. For instance, Leyden (2003) finds that residents of pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use neighborhoods are more likely than those living in car-oriente.

Leave a Reply