Transforming Land Use Regulations to Create Livable Communities that Support Physical Activity in Everyday Life
Dr. Deborah Howe and graduate research assistant Mari Radford of Temple University collaborated with Dr. Jennifer Dill of Portland State University to better understand the process of the adoption of innovative land use policies by local governments that leads to the creation of communities that allow for active, healthy lifestyles. This two year study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation under their Active Living Research Program.
The first phase of the project involved a survey of Best Practice Communities. Using zoning that allows mixed land uses as an indicator of innovation, over 300 municipalities with mixed use projects built or under construction were selected. These municipalities were invited to participate in a web-based survey that examined various aspects of policy adoption and innovation including the impetus for change, the sources of information used and the relationship between the acceptance of mixed use zoning and other innovative actions.
In the second phase, a random web-based survey of municipalities from throughout the US was conducted in order to ascertain the extent of, and potential for, innovative land use policy adoption. The final phase involved field visits which developed detailed case studies of three municipalities that adopted particularly innovative land use policies.
Preliminary findings from this project were shared at the Pennsylvania Planning Association annual conference in October 2007.