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Thread: Any physical activity and/or active transportation topic ideas

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Any physical activity and/or active transportation topic ideas

    Hello all:

    while I realize this is the career forum I thought some of you might have some good insights based upon your rich experience.

    I am looking for a thesis topic in relation to physical activity and urban planning or active transportation and urban planning (or ideally a combination of the two) that might be particularly important and timely right now.

    Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated,

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Integration of bicycles and public transport

    Safety barriers to cyclists

    Walkability and missing pieces of the urban fabric

    Safe bicycling for those with physical or developmental disabilities and independance
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    How Urban Sprawl Contributes to the Obesity Epidemic.

    HTH

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by sneakers View post
    Hello all:

    ...

    I am looking for a thesis topic in relation to physical activity and urban planning or active transportation and urban planning (or ideally a combination of the two) that might be particularly important and timely right now.

    ...
    The final mile problem and how to safely connect non-motorized transportation in a cost-effective manner - PPPs, grants, cost per mile of sidewalk, bike lanes (and cost of lockers at bus stops), etc. Come up with testable solutions and numbers and metrics.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    Take a look at live/work units and how they are doing nationally. Mixed use development could be another area of interest.
    Skilled Adoxographer

  6. #6
    maudit anglais
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    You might be able to get some ideas here: http://www.ontarioplanners.on.ca/con...icypapers.aspx

  7. #7
    It's actually pretty simple: Healthy people are physically active. Ergo, build communities that encourage physical activity.

    There are communities on both ends of the spectrum, but more on the fat-ass side of the things than on the other, which mostly consist of the cheap suburbs that were the result of the former housing boom. There are case studies galore. Just do Google searches for keywords like "obesity+suburbs" and you'll have more than you can ingest. As far as peer-reviewed stuff, there is a considerable and growing amount of research in this area, you just have to look in the right journals.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has had an Active Living By Design program including significant grants for some years now. In a previous place I was fortunate enough to get one of their grants and it allowed us to fund a bicycle/pedestrian coordinator who helped the community immensely. Studying that overall program and the crossover between Public Health professionals and Urban Planners is more than enough topic for one thesis.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has had an Active Living By Design program including significant grants for some years now. In a previous place I was fortunate enough to get one of their grants and it allowed us to fund a bicycle/pedestrian coordinator who helped the community immensely. Studying that overall program and the crossover between Public Health professionals and Urban Planners is more than enough topic for one thesis.
    Hey Maswich: thanks so much for what you mentioned at the end has suddenly clicked for me. When you state "studying that program and the crossover between Public proressionals and Urban Planners" were you referring to the overall Robert Wood Foundation, or the specific program you managed to get the co-ordinator for. In any case, if you have some suggestions as to how I might study this crossover (e.g., who I might interview or what douments I might analyze) it would also be very much appreciated given that I am an outsider to the planning world...your inside view would be great! Thanks so much!!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Check out the list of resources on

    Walkable Community Information on PBS's America's Walking w/ Mark Fenton: http://www.pbs.org/americaswalking/resources.html

    National Physical Activity Plan Resources: http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/resources/index.htm
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Check out the work done by Clifton, at University of Maryland's Smart Growth Center. I believe she was funded by either that organization or another to look at the effect of the built environment on physical activity.

    I would suggest going deeper, looking at topics where authors points to a need for more research.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Great thesis topic idea!

    Was browsing this topic and I think this is a terrific thesis topic in general, sneakers! Very timely with all the discussion around healthcare and preventive measures, and issues revolving around public health in the U.S. right now due to "health care reform" efforts.

    Following on the suggestion regarding the Active Living By Design program, I located a link to the old press release about the program and it has a lot of great background information in it for a launching point for research perhaps ...

    http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?id=21703

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