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1 BARRIERS AND FACILITATORS OF WALKABILITY: ANALYSIS OF STREET NETWORKS AND URBAN DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS AROUND CENTRAL FLORIDA ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS By ANGELA COULLIAS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSIT Y OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2 2013 Angela Coullias
3 To my wonderful family and close friends, for all their l ove and support
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First I would like to thank my family and close friends for their constant love, motivation and posi tive enforcement The endless pep talks, including the many motivational text messages and phone calls, as well as the meals, group workout sessions and breaks (including the ones for ice cream) I will always be thankful for. Over these past few months, they have given me such a tremendous amount of support that has kept me motivated and striving towards the finish I am very grateful to have such wonderful people in my life. Mom, I know you are looking forward to finally seeing me walk across that graduation stage. Also I would like to thank my father because even though he is not here physically, I know he is always ther e in spirit as my great inspiration pushing me to never give up. This is for you, dad. I would also like to thank my commit tee, starti ng with my Chair, Dr. Ilir Bejle ri. Since his time as the valuable instructor my first semester in graduate school that link ed my interests in architecture to urban design and then continued to provide guidance during this thesis process, I am very thankful. Also to my Co Chair, Dr. Paul Zwick who not only was a monumental support providing me with a graduate assistantship but also further introduced me t o the professional world of GIS and land use planning. Then to my third committee member, Dr. Ruth Steiner who was always helpful and generous with her time and helped to motivate me towards a solid end result. I am very l ucky to have had such a great team. In addition I would like to include the always motivational and hilarious Stanley Latimer. I have wonderful memories throughout my time as a graduate stude nt at the University of Florida As for my time completing my th esis, I have a huge appreciation for the amou nt of time and energy my team put into helping me get to this point. I am forever grateful.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 13 Background Information ................................ ................................ .......................... 13 Objectives ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 16 2 LIT ERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 19 Health in the Built Environment ................................ ................................ ............... 19 Land Use Development in Florida ................................ ................................ ........... 22 Siting of Public School Facilities ................................ ................................ ....... 24 Growth Management in Florida ................................ ................................ ........ 25 Defining Walkability ................................ ................................ ................................ 26 Measuring Walkability ................................ ................................ ...................... 29 Complexities of Children Walking Patterns ................................ ....................... 30 Urba n Design Characteristics ................................ ................................ ................. 31 Street Connectivity ................................ ................................ ........................... 34 Residential Density ................................ ................................ ........................... 36 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 39 Establishing the Study Area ................................ ................................ .................... 40 Development of Variables to Measure Walkability ................................ .................. 41 Development of Adjusted and Unadjusted Network Sheds .............................. 42 Actual Walkability Survey Data ................................ ................................ ......... 43 Barriers and Facilitators: Urban Design Variables ................................ .................. 44 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 45 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 48 Overview of Study Area ................................ ................................ .......................... 48 Results of Walkability Comparison Analysis ................................ ........................... 49 Hillsborough County ................................ ................................ ......................... 49 Analysis #1: Adjusted and unadjusted network sheds ............................... 50 Analysis #2: Actual survey data versus potential geospatial data .............. 51
6 Orange County ................................ ................................ ................................ 52 Analysis #1: Adjusted and unadjusted network sheds ............................... 53 Analysis #2: Act ual survey data versus potential geospatial data .............. 54 Pasco County ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 55 Analysis #1: Adjusted and unadjusted network sheds ............................... 55 Analysis #2: Actual survey data versus potential geospatial data .............. 56 Seminole County ................................ ................................ .............................. 56 Analysis #1: Adjusted and unadjusted network sheds ............................... 57 Analysis #2: Actual survey data versus potential geospatial data .............. 58 Urban Design Analysis: Qualitative Results ................................ ............................ 58 School Site #1: Doby Elementary ................................ ................................ ..... 60 School Site #2: Robles Elementary ................................ ................................ .. 62 School Site #3: Lovell Elementary ................................ ................................ .... 65 School Site #4: Shenandoah Elementary ................................ ......................... 66 School Site #5: Richey Elementary ................................ ................................ .. 69 School Site # 6: Longwood Elementary ................................ ............................ 70 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ...... 122 Limitations of this Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 125 Opportunities for Future Research ................................ ................................ ........ 126 LI ST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 129 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 133
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Cr iteria for establishing school attendance zones ................................ .............. 37 2 2 Summary of common street connectivity measures ................................ ........... 38
8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Creation of analysis zones (pedestrian sheds) (Steiner, et al., 2008) ................. 46 3 2 Generation of pedestrian sheds (Bejl eri, et al., 2011) ................................ ......... 47 4 1 Layout and background of complete study area ................................ ................. 73 4 2 Map from U.S. Census Bureau show ing population change by County: 2000 to 2010 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 74 4 3 Map of school attendance zones in Hillsborough County ................................ ... 75 4 4 Map of Bryan Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 76 4 5 Map of Doby Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 77 4 6 Map of Dover Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 78 4 7 Map of Forest Hills Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 79 4 8 Map of Gib sonton Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 80 4 9 Map of Lake Magdalene Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ......................... 81 4 10 Map of Mendenhall Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 82 4 11 Map of Pride Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 83 4 12 Map of Ri verview Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 84 4 13 Map of Robles Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catch ments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 85 4 14 Map of Tampa Bay Boulevard Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ......................... 86
9 4 15 Map of Turner Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Hillsborough County ................................ .......................... 87 4 16 Map o f school attendance zones of Orange County ................................ ........... 88 4 17 Map of John Young Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Orange County ................................ ................................ .. 89 4 18 Map of Lovell Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Orange County ................................ ................................ .. 90 4 19 Map of Maxey Eleme ntary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Orange County ................................ ................................ .. 91 4 20 Map of Pineloch Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Or ange County ................................ ................................ .. 92 4 21 Map of Riverdale Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Orange County ................................ ................................ .. 93 4 22 Map of Shenandoah Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Orange County ................................ ................................ .. 94 4 23 Map of Stone Lakes Elementary half mile and on e mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Orange County ................................ ................................ .. 95 4 24 Map of school attendance zones of (A) Pasco County and (B) Seminole County ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 96 4 25 Map of Chasco Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Pasco County ................................ ................................ .... 98 4 26 Map of Richey Elementary half mi le and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Pasco County ................................ ................................ .... 99 4 27 Map of Seven Springs Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Pasco Count y ................................ 100 4 28 Map of Bear Lake Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Seminole County ................................ ............................. 101 4 29 Map of Carillon Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Seminole County ................................ ............................. 102 4 30 Map of Longwood Elementary half mile and one mile a djusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Seminole County ................................ ............................. 103 4 31 Map of Sterling Park Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments areas in Seminole County ................................ ............................. 104
10 4 32 Chart of survey data collected (A) Day 1 (B) Day 2 and (C) Day 3 ................... 105 4 33 Graph of actual versus potential pe destrian student count ............................... 108 4 34 Map of Doby Elementary in Hillsborough County for urban design analysis .... 109 4 35 Chart of Doby Elementary characteristics (including analysis of dimensions of urban design of the site) ................................ ............................ 110 4 36 Map of Robles Elementary in Hillsborough County for urban design analysis .. 111 4 37 Chart of Robles Elementary characteristics (including analysis of dimensions of urban design of the site) ................................ ............................ 112 4 38 Map of Lovell Elementary in Orange County for urban design analysis ........... 113 4 39 Chart of Lovell Elementary characteristics (including analysis of dimensions of urban design of the site) ................................ ............................ 114 4 40 Map of Shenandoah Elementary in Orange County for urban design analysis 115 4 41 Chart of Shenandoah Elementary characteristics (including analysis of ................................ .......... 116 4 42 Map of Richey Elementar y in Pasco County for urban design analysis ............ 117 4 43 Chart of Richey Elementary characteristics (including analysis of dimensions of urban design of the site) ................................ ............................ 118 4 44 Map of Longwood Elementary in Seminole County for urban design analysis 119 4 45 Chart of Doby Elementary character istics (including analysis of dimensions of urban design of the site) ................................ ............................ 120 4 46 Series of visual factors used in promoting walkability at the surveyed elementary schools ................................ ................................ .......................... 121
11 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Urban and Regional Planning BARRIERS AND FACILITATORS OF WALKABILITY: ANALYSIS OF S TREET NETWORKS AND URBAN DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS AROUND CENTRAL FLORIDA ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS By Angela Coullias May 2013 Chair: Ilir Bejleri Cochair: Paul Zwick Major: Urban and Regional Planning Walkability is an important concept in planning The term is built around the concept of providing healthy communities red ucing dependency on automobiles and improving health consciousness in both adults and children However t he gr owing rate of childhood obesity is taking precedence in many cities B ased on fac tors including connectivity, densities, amenities, and socio economics t his research focuses on elementary school sites through the influence of urban de sign characteristics and street networks within Central Florida. A nalyzing the selected school sites a nd deciphering what are the specific barriers and facilitators that surround them, helps produce design standards and methods that can help implement pedestrianism for every type of city infrastructure or planned development Using geospatial data and actu al surveyed data helps locate sites with high rates for walkab ility. After exploring the elements within both sets of data, d eveloping a list of important urban design characteristics is meant to only provide successful means and methods of pedestrianism. Additional q ualities such as distance, safety, and socio economic s also play a role in the rates of walkability of
12 elementary schoolchildren Combining all the variables provides a mix of aesthetic and descr iptive data used to wards determining the successf ul models Preliminary findings suggest that a half mile pedestrian network offers a realistic distance for a child to commute to school but one mile networks are provided as a feasible travel distance as well The urban design characteristics listed as f acilitators take place within all type s of development s, but the number of barriers is what determines the hindrance of walkability Dependent upon the context surrounding the school, high rates of walkability is capable based on high residential density, low number of intersections and updated pedestrian infrastructure for children to utilize Street grids and land use variety can provide towards walkability as well There is also dependency on the timeframe a school was built and how is connects within th e context of the surrounding environment. Socio economics and school planning plays a larger role in determining walkabi lity within each site analysis. Overall, these findings can suggest the important configurations of a community, emphasizing all aspects within a safe and sustainable environment.
13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background Information The United States is one of the most car dependent countries in the world. Along with that, the Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity physic al activity most days of the week in order to maintain good health As for the future, energy and fossil fuel costs continue to rise, making travel cost inflated and environmentally the automobile makes up for about 25 percent of carbon dioxide emissions t hroughout the world. All of these elements combined are heavy concerns throughout the world. The growing importance of human health as well as environmental and economic sustainability has motivated many people to find alternative means of transportation b esides the automobile and the growing popularity of providing pedestrian routes has multiple cost free benefits. In data from 17 countries published by The National Geographic Society in 2009 they conducted a comparison study between transportation statis tics between all the countries. Within the United States alone, only 5 percent of the population uses publ ic transportation daily, only 7 percent use public transportat ion at least once a week and 61 percent of people have never used public transportation. In comparison internationally, 25 percent of respondents reported using pub lic transportation daily and 41 percent reported using it at least once a week This is a huge difference of people, especially if we consider the fact that the Uni ted States makes up less than 5 percent if the overall world population. B ased off just trends given the United States is not familiar with anything outside of personal vehicles and daily commutes. Obviously that is not a good trend to continue with.
14 The planning of str eet networks and connectivity throughout a city helps define how a city continue s to expand and grow. Maneuvering streets and alleyways to become more accessible and pedestrian friendly can be a challenge if not established from the infancy of the developm ent but it can be done as long as multiple of the important infrastructure cohort the idea Most stabilized cities, especially the ones established pre 1800, have more successful methods of circulation through many different nod es and paths that allow all its residents the ability to travel from one point to another without barriers. With remarkable consistency, cities grew no larger than someone on foot could cross in an hour. However after The Industrial Revolution occurred, th e harnessing of steam power meant that people and goods could travel faster than was ever dreamed possible and that city streets, once perfectly capable of handling both foot and wagon traffic, became so crowded that movement was nearly impossible (Soderst rom, 2008). Presently cities are co ping with population and residential growth challenges, the push for environmental regulations and conservation as well as economic instabilities. Most of those factors have taken precedence in many development patterns a nd unfortunately, in order to revitalize and maintain downtowns and city centers, necessary monetary and resident backing needs to be available. In determining how viable a city can potentially become, people rely on factors including accessibility, build ing densities, options in transportation, land use categorization amenities and safety. How cities allow these different factors to reciprocate and organize can transform and help implement a strong sense of pedestrianism within an urban center or city co re. Currently this kind of living situation is
15 becoming popular trend considering now 6 out of 10 of Americans say they would prefer to live in walkable neighborhoods, in both cities and suburbs, if they could (Florida, 2010). C hildren walking to school ar e a whole other responsibility and challenge for any type of pedestrian oriented neighborhood The generalized notion of children being able to walk to school seems to be a gradually outdated theory. Safety and accessibility have bigger roles for parents t o determine whether they allow their child to walk to and from school. There are many positives and negatives people can list, but the idea is that if a development is pedestrian friendly and safe enough for a younger child the n adults might be more incli ned to walk with their children, as well as to and from their own work and residential provide improved health benefits, but it also provides its residents with a sense of place and responsibility to its surroundings. Pertaining to children being able to walk to and from school, childhood obesity ha s become a growing issue not only in the United States, but also internationally. Understanding physical activity behaviors among childre n and adolescents reveals that there are a multitude of factors that can influence physical activity behaviors among children and adolescents such as sex differences (male or female), parental overweight status, previous physical activity and perceived act ivity competenc e to name a fe w (Bejle ri, 2010 from Sallis, 2000). Additionally, some children lack physical activity because of parental perceptions concerning safety of their environment (Belje ri, 2 010 from Valentine and McKendric k, 1997). Providing an en vironment where not only the parent feels safe, but that they trust their child can commute whether by themselves or with other students can change the whole dynamic of a neighborhood or c ommunity
16 carrying along all the other beneficial aspects of having the opportunity for physical activity. Along with that, people must take into account the rising population growth and with that, rising public school enrollment. Addressing the issues now allow for smarter growth and a healthy growing population to go alo ng with it. Objectives Walkability is more than an attractive amenity and retaining the highly innovative businesses and highly skilled people that drive economic growth, raising housing values and generating h igher incomes ( Richard Florida, 2010). Conducting a study that provides cities, neighborhoods and their residents with the directional strengths and weaknesses surrounding the area of schools can help improve walkability. Specifying the factors included as types of barri ers and facilitators of walkability 1 and using them in comparison to the characteristics of the two networks can potentially change the way children travel to and from school. Defining which factors can be determined as barriers and facilitators can help o utline what constitutes an automobile network from a pedestrian network. Analyzing the number of students and residential units within the attendance zones and each catchment area form s different ratios between the general street grid straight line distanc e (automobile network), the adjusted grid plus additional pedestrian options (pedestrian network), and then finally the actual number of children who walk to and from school. Finally t he characteristics of urban design help differentiate the ability to wal k to school versus actually walking to school, also defined by the barriers and facilitators. 1 Walkability or the term walkable (u sed throughout this document) refers to an area or built environment where a person can travel on foot or even on bicycle from one location to another location without creating a harmful, unsafe or inconvenient situation for him or herself
17 Pedestrianism 2 is an important topic for future development of health, safety and land procurement reasons along with many others that is defined later It is i mportant to establish the context and the variable being affected which in this case is schoolchildren, before properly focusing on any sort basis of analysis and conclusion. As for the context, t he data used in this study was generated pure ly from 31 ran domly selected elementary schools between the four counties of Hillsborough, Orange, Seminole and Pasco within the state of Florida from a concurrent research project at the University of Florida as part of the Safe Routes to Schools charter Each of the s urveyed elementary schools focus on the actual survey and geospatial data within ha lf mile and one mile of each point based on technical analysis and then furthermore by specific urban design characteristics to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each As for the variable of schoolchildren, the study focuses only on elementary school children that are within kindergarten and 5 th grade. Between the University of Florida Geoplan Center and the Center for Health and the Built Environment the study i s a more specific analysis of walkability to and from schools in relation to several elements of urban form specifically the built environment The overall goal of this analysis is to define tho se characteristics of urban design in relation to mainly the pedestrian oriented network in order to setup a formula that can potentially help establish how walkability can be successful and potentially unsuccessful A comparison and contrast between the evidence in both scenarios is then conducted. This document c ontains five chapters in total. The next four chapters contain a literature review, methodology, results and finally a detailed discuss ion of the research. 2 Pedestrianis m is the design for pedestrian dimensions and distances through compact form, layout, and streetscape characteristics (Nelessen, 1994).
18 Chapter 2 examine s the research available regarding health in the built environment, walkability and urban desig n characteristics. Chapter 3 provide s an overview of materials and data used w ithin the study. Chapter 4 present s the results and findings o f the study. Then Chapter 5 further discuss es the conclusions and interpolate any further analysis that can determine a formula for walkability.
19 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter focuses on the important aspects within the focus of school siting and walkability. Further implications promoting walkable school communities includ e topics such as health land development trends, pedestrian patterns and complexities, and urban design chara cteristics. The literature begin s to dissect the main benefits and growing health trend s of walkability, including how a healthy community can be developed and how child ren health tendencies are dependent upon their environment. From there the focus explains the historical aspects and regulations land use development trends, concentrating on growth management and public school facilities siting procedure Nex t, defining walkability including how it can be measured and the complexities of children walking patterns. T he last section describes the barriers and facilitators towards walkability using the characteri stics of urban design and includes the two importan t aspects of street connectivity and residential density. This section provide s justification and foundation for my research study. Health in the Built Environment The positiv e health benefits of walking or any sort of physical activity have been well est ablished for a long period of time. The Center for Disease Control has stated that though physical inactivity has been shown to be a leading ca use in mortality, less than 50 percent of the adult population engages in the recommended levels of physical acti vity. Along with that, childhood obesity has become a growing concern within the United States. As of recently, 33 .6 percent of children and adolescents are considered obes e or at risk for becoming obese, which is three times the rate of obesity in childre n and adolescents for decades ago (Wang, 2006). Childhood obesity has been attributed
20 activities. T he concepts of providing outdoor activities and the means of easil y walking or biking to multiple locations within a minima l distance from each other, can provide people subconsciously with alternative ways of getting the physical activity needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Most recently the concept of cities and d evelopments providing externalities that promote physical activity has started to become popular. Urban environments are far from homogeneous, and neighborhood level measures of the built environment have been associated with levels of walking (Lovasi et a l., 2009) and obesity (Papas et al., 2007). The dimension of built neighborhood environment measures remains a debate in public health research. Many public health studies have focused on the traditional risk factor approach, which examines the independent effects of specific neighborhood characteristics related to physical activities (Yan, 2009). The built environment design provides cues and opportunities for physical activity, and perceptions of the neighborhood environment play a large role in shaping p hysical activity behaviors. Some research has shown positive associations of moderate physical activity levels with both objective and perceived accessibility of destinations such as shops, stores, and interesting places within walking distance. In additio n, perceptions of certain neighborhood features (e.g., well lit streets, biking or walking trails, pedestrian safety, traffic volume and speed, disorder, and crime) are associated with physical activity (Yan et al., 2010). Understanding the correlates of p hysical activity is a prerequisite for developing evidence based interventions; increasing numbers of studies are identifying physical
21 environment attributes as correlates of physical activity behaviors (Gebel, 2009). Factors in the built environment such as street connectivity and residential density are two main physical attributes of a community that have an impact on physical activity. However, walking in most areas has become a lost mode of transportation. In early versions of traffic modeling software pedestrians were not included as a default, and even today, modeling software tends to treat them not as actual actors, but as a mere Pedestrians are a burden to certain for ms of development because they offer a challenge for developers to accommodate for. Childhood Obesity and Physical Inactivity : Childhood obesity is a growing issue not only in the United States, but also internationally. Adding to the constant population growth and rising public school enrollment numbers, this is a topic that could be changed by healthy community involvement and planning. The multiple factors that can influence physical activity behaviors among childr en and adolescents include sex differen ces (male or female), parental overweight status previous physical activity and perceived activity competence (Bejleri, 2010) and mostly parental perceptions Children and adolescents are spending a lot more time inside their homes than before, mostly including more time in front of televisions and video games. Along with that, there is the constant concern for safety within communities for children especially concerning elementary aged students. Changing phys ical regiment and daily routine could possibly be the largest challenge toward a child to simply just walk or bike to school, even if that was the minimal change in daily
22 rou tine, it could provide the necessary physical activity needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There is a connection between the built environment and physical activity with children Many public health studies have focused on the traditional risk factor approach, which examines the independent effects of specific neighborhood characteristics related to physical activities. However, from an urban planning perspective, specific aspects of the built environment, such as land use mix and density, occur concur rently in neighborhoods (Yan et al., 2010). In many cases, children are deprived of the opportunities to engage in physical activity due to a growing separation between residential dwellings and commercial, civic, and institutional services (e.g., school f acilities), inadequate provision of community places for children to commune (e.g., parks, ball fields, and other (natural) recreational destinations), and the lack of necessary infrastructural elements like sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and other pedestrian p athways that support recreational and travel opportunities (Day, 2 009). Provisions towards a city having to provide these types of spaces and infrastructural improvements are important to the health of all its residents. Land Use Development in Florida Wh at are the major concerns today with planning and development? First there is urban sprawl, next there is the issue of water conservation, and then later air pollution in relation to car use and lack of alternative methods of transportation. In the state o f Florida alone, the population is set to double by the year 2060 to over 35 million people. The automobile dependency trend throughout the United States has caused for many different areas of low density and sprawl to occur outside major nodes and cities, including multiple small and large school neighborhood developments Recently it has
23 come to the attention to t he public that there is a higher need for innovative and strategic planning for our future, otherwise natural resources will continue to be thre atened and the quality of life could possibly diminish This is where we acknowledge the fact that besides all the rules and regulations that are already in place from the state, there is a need for implemented guideline s for community development with a h eavy emphasis on the physical environment connectivity and density including modern social and economic sensibilities. Focusing on the discussion of school siting and development, similar guidelines and regulations that provides students with the proper means to safely travel to school is important to strategic planning for the future. Transportation development has taken a huge leap in importance in the last few decades with the recent complications and stipulations towards natural resources and pollutio n. The main discussion would be toward providing alternative method s of transportation. If the trend for the personal automobile cannot be decelerated then the focused on making sure traffic density is dissipated and not continually overwhelming (less tra oriente d developments with their curves and dead ends to go around or stop short of valuable natural areas. (Ewing, 1996) With the heavy integration of good land use practices, transportat ion can provide the ample amount of reserve space for environmental sustainability.
24 Aside from transportation development, residential development is also another huge contention within the concept of school planning. Functionalities including affordabili ty, diversity, measured density, and location are the main topics of discussion. The integration of affordable single family housing with moderate income housing could make a bigger impact for a community than someone might expect. These sorts of housing o pportunities are dependent upon the community and its residents. However if you integrate a better land use development and better transportation circulation, any combination might work in helping tighten the housing density the United States deals with wh en discussing urban and suburban sprawl. By combining some commercial land use within housing areas one might create a better walkable community. Siting of Public School Facilities Combat growth is a g rowing problem related to school siting trends in rece nt years. The idea of trying to reduce sprawl has actually promoted families to move to the suburbs so their children can attend newer and generally develop tense socio economic segregations between the newer traditional neighborhood developments within th ese newer suburbs and the older established urban schools. Comparin g t he concept of economics specifically distinguishing how much income guardian annually accumulates a s well as the likelihood as to whether or not a child ultimately walk s or bike s to school provides its own challenges The suburbanization trend could be partly promoted by some of the newer public school siting trends there has been within the United States. One way of controlling enrollment and capacity within schools, which was developed by district school boards, was by School Attendance Zones (SAZs). These are specifically geographic boundaries that provide schools with a maximum zoning radius as to where the students must reside in order to attend the school. They were
25 est ablished based a series of factors, including safe and efficient student transportation and travel ( Table 2 1). The SAZs vary in size and shape across the school district depending upon the density of children in the residential neighborhood surrounding ea ch school. There are also other incentives for school siting adjacent to or within neighborhoods. When it comes to basic infrastructure, when school development happens near already established roads, water and utilities, the cost effectiveness is much lo wer. Also if the development is within a generally walkable community, transportation costs are estimated to be lower as well. However these types of school locations usually pull people away from city centers and take away from promoting schools within th ose established areas It is also common to have a disconnect between local and state governments with jurisdictional school districts on decisions related to siting, building, ad renovating schools. Those decisions are driven by competition with neighbori ng districts and demographic shifts. The responses that are taking shape as part of movements focusing on smart growth, sustainability, livability, or healthy communities, all call for both a shift in the way we think about school siting and a change in th e strategies we use (Miles, 2011). The focus of school siting should be based on providing a continually updated educational system with safe and infrastructural sound school facilities. There should also be a focus in creating schools that are integrated within the community, providing healthy and safe conditions for students to get to and from their homes. Growth Management in Florida The multiple regulations in place today help with controlling unplanned growth as well as reallocate the initial blame, w
26 developers. The timeframe of when the school was built plays the main role in assessing its initial development. Segmenting the different growth management legislation eras are defined as follows: schools sited before 1950 (historically these schools were sited within residential districts), schools sited between 1950 and 1985 (the period prior to the enactment of the 1985 Growth Management Act), schools sited between 1986 and 1995 (the period prioer to th e State requiring school districts to share development information with local governments), and schools sited after 1996 (the period in which the requirements for school siting have become inc reasingly stringent) are all compared. Using these time periods to compare the indicators of the pedestrian environment offers insight into the evolution of urban form around elementary schools and the implications of urban form for the potential of children to walk to school ( Bejleri, Steiner, Provost, Fischman, & Ar afat, 2008 ). Defining Walkability In data from 17 countries published by The National Geographic Society in 2009, only five percent of Americans surveyed used public transportation daily, and only seven percent reported taking public transportation at lea st once a week. Sixty one percent of Americans reported that they never use public transportation. Internationally, 25 percent of respondents reported using public transportation daily, and 41 percent reported using it at least once a week (Benfield, 2011) Also there is evidence that when the 1960 Census collected and published information regarding J ourney to Work the original numbers began wit h 13 percent taking transit, 10 percent walked and 7 percent worked at home (think farmers) (Pisarski, 2011) Sin ce then, mainly with the grow ing trend of the private vehicle within the last 50 years, the public transit and walk modes have declined. Obviously there are many choices of transportation today, but these are
27 becoming an increasing privilege considering th e abundance of economic and environmental means it now requires to operate an automobile. Not only that, but there are so many technological distractions cu rrently that walking and even driving are both slow declines and instead people are at home in front of their computers. Walking and biking are both alternative m eans of transportation that do not require any cost fluctuations and do not cause any environmental contingencies In addition, the American Heart Association also claims that studies are showin g that for every hour of walking, life expectancy may increase by two hours. The benefits of creating a safe pedestrian friendly environment have proven to be not only cost effective but a healthy stimulation for its residents. There are many different w ebsites and resources that provide insight towards the promotion of walkable neighborhoods. One great resource is Walkscore.com, which is an online group that rates walkable neighborhoods, providing detailed data on walkability for 2,500 cities and 6,000 n eighborhoods across the United States. This one important measuring tool that helps determine the relation between cities centers, people, mixed income, parks and public space s pedestrian design, schools and workplace, and complete streets (taken from www.walkscore.com ). Richard Florida, a social and economic theorist, has done extensive analysis involving Walk Score and wa s able to relate walkability with key economic and demographic characteristics in the U.S., wh relationship s that proved that walkable metros had higher levels of highly educated people, higher wages, higher housing values, more high tech companies, greater levels
28 of innovat ion, and more artistic associates. These outcomes show pedestrianism playing an ecological and financial importance overall The concept of moving back to the city and out of the suburbs has been slowly becoming a popular concept in recent years, consideri ng the economic and environmental challenges our society is experiencing. Trending numbers shows that p eople are ing to pay more to live closer in proximity to work and social activities Along with that, because of the current price of gasoline and pressu re to reduce consumption of natural resources people are looking for alternative options that do not depend on an automobile or any additional expense s This option also includes concerns with school children and academic placement. Some parents and guard ians are willing to relocate so their child can attend a better ranking school. These concerns are basis for further research on walkable communities and its long term benefits. Residents in many cities are requesting options or moving closer to these alte rnatives, mostly discussing options of transit. Even the popularity of retrofitting car oriented developments into more pedestrian friendly, mixed use communities are becoming conti nually popular throughout the United S tates These being only a few concept s pertaining to economic aspects of walkability, furthermore people can make the assumption that the change in economy and demography promotes the relationship of walkability. The physical attributes apart of walkability include all of those measuring too ls, but it is also dependent upon physical building and spaces and how they adapt over time to reflect new social and economic needs without exact references to any historical period. Providing incentive for people to move closer to places they frequent on regular occasion is an important thing to the consumer. Families want good schools and safe
29 neighborhoods for their children. Young professionals generally want to live nearby where they work and in close proximity to social activities (restaurants, bar s, etc.). Each individual provides a different challenge to meet, but with the proper density in place and a good model to develop by, cities can successfully provide all these things and more. Measuring Walkability Physical proximity is one of the main fa ctors of walkability. There are two groups of measures of pedestrian travel in the context of the physical environment: general walkability and origin destination walkability (Bejleri et al., 2011). Literature shows that on average, an acceptable distance for pedestrian and transit friendly travel can be distinguished by a 5 to (maximum) 10 minute walk, which is approximately one quarter to one half of a mile (Bejleri et al., 2010 from Ewing, 2000). The further a child lived away from the school, the least likely he/she was able or even all owed to walk or bike to school. General aspects of walkability include specific numbers of intersections and block length and size. For example, smaller block sizes or shorter block lengths indicate better connectivity or greater potential for movement through space (Bejleri et al., 2011 from Dill, 2004). In relation to the origin destination walkability, measurements focusing on the straight line distance between the origin and destination along the walkable network are o ne concept and the measurements related to residential density is another. Concentrations of residential dwellings in proximity to desired locations provide an indication of the potential for individuals to travel between home and a destination. Providing the part of the data that are viable towards calculating walkability must first focus on what it is people are walking to. In a publication in The Atlantic, Richard Florida digested how certain cities rank higher than others on websites like
30 Walkscore.com Their data states that walkable metros had higher levels of highly educated people that had higher incomes and higher housing values, more high tech companies, and greater levels of innovation (Florida, 2011). This is only primarily discussing what speci fics correlate with pedestrians being primarily adults. Calculating children walking specifically to school must not only take into account sometimes the lifestyle of the parents, but also car ownership, work timeframe, aspect of older siblings, health of the child and parent and any specific urban design detail that could derail the accessibility of a walkable route to the school location. Complexities of Children Walking Patterns In 1969, 40.7 percent of children walked or biked to s chool compared to onl y 12.9 percent in 2001, a 68 percent decline, according to analyses of the National Personal Transportation Survey (McDonald, 2007a). Certain barriers, such as age, sex, and distance, generalize breaking down the physical and mental capacity of allowing a child to walk or bicycle to school Children under the age of six, unless they have older siblings or guardians to escort them might be typically generalized as being too young. Children between the age of seven and nine have a more broadened sense of dir ection and safety and by the age of ten, most parents might trust their child to walk to school by themselves, obviously dependent on the built environment from their home to school. According to the National Highway Traffic Safe Administration (NHTSA) chi ldren, even in the same grade, vary in their readiness to handle traffic situations, such as choosing a safe time to cross a street. In general, children are not ready to cr oss a street alone until age 10 ( http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/program tools/what age can children walk school themselves )
31 If schools are located in automobile opportunity to walk to school is dimi nished. Alternatively, children can walk or bicycle to schools located near residences with a high level of connectivity (Bejleri et al., 2008). There have been many different studies done in relation to students walking to school associated with communit y desig n as well as child and parent barriers designed community that featured narrow streets leading to the school, no cul de sacs, road separated walking paths, and an adjacent community recreation center. Town homes and single family detached dwellings were clustered on relatively small lots, so attended the walkable sc hool but lived just outside the boundary of the walkable community; 75% lived within a mile of the school. This community featured standard suburban design m any cul de sacs and larger lots students lived in a neighborhoo d near the two other groups but in an area with larger lots so that only 35% lived within a mile of school (Napier, 2010). Urban Design Characteristics Defining what qualities make a city a successful pedestrian influenced urban core, focusing on urb an d esign characteristics, help outline this research topic. The specific list of important variables includes aspects of not only walkability, but also urban design and land use. Urban design elements include architecture, land use categorization, usage of pu blic space, traffic solutions, quality of sidewalks, and street level activities as some of the variables that determine the type of livable community people live in Land use mainly divides the separation between commercial, residential, and mixed use (or multi family) amongst a few others The main theory is that each particular aspect
32 defined of urban design and land use can manipulate the outcome for pedestrianism to be a popular transportation option. Combining these urban design and land use elements there are design principles outlined to help plan for a unified community. d esigning for the human scale The human scale is the relationship between the dimensions of the human body and th e proportion of the spaces, which people use. This is important in order to make sure the elements mentioned are proportional for pedestrians and facilitate human interaction while enhancing the human experience. Additionally, within the design principles there must be a focus on pedestrianism, open spaces, community focus, streetscapes, and maintenance to name a few. qualities that relate to walkability mentions that because of the i mportance of walking becoming a bigg er issue day by day, even with t he Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), measuring tools like walking audit instruments have become widely used across the U.S. by researchers, local governments, and community groups. Active living research has found that even though it is important to try and focus on more than just the physical features, those physical features influence the quality of the walking environment both directly and indirectly through the perceptio ns and sensitivities of individ uals. Along with that, Forsyth and Southworth (2008) discuss in their article how high speed traffic broke up the pedestrian networks of the U.S. and how streets that lost their intimate scale and transparency just became a m ere service road, separate from the public. In relating both articles, an observer can then start to believe that the perception of safety related to the speed of cars might influence
33 elements that perception of walkability alone can include other aspects, for example: proximity, fluidity, safety, and social scale. It comes down to personal needs per each individual to have in order to feel comfortable and make it a viable option amongst others, dependent on what options are available and feasible. F actors include total number of automobiles, energy and rising restraints of natural resources (available fos sil fuels and gas prices), aesthetics and current building infrastructure, zoning and regulations, human health, history and weather patterns are either permanent (non changing) or differential variables that play important roles in defining ba rriers and f acilitators within the study Some factors weigh more heavily amongst the others but the commonalty between all the sites is the specifics needed to define an outcome. Common barriers that may reduce walkability between home and school could include hazar dous walking conditions like inadequate sidewalks, high speed and volume of traffic, fences or walls, and the absence of crossing guards to facilitate the safe crossing of the street (Bejleri et al., 2011 from Dellinger and Staunton, 2002). In contract, fa cilitators that can enhance opportunities for walking could include trails and other informal pathways, rear entrances to school grounds and the employment of crossing guards at hazardous street intersections (Bejleri et al., 2011). Both are important Two main characteristics focused upon in urban form are explored in this study: Street Connectivity and Residential Density Street Connectivity is analyzed using three indicators: (1) Street Density, (2) Intersection Density, and (3) Pedestrian Route
34 Directn ess (PRD) Residential Density is also analyzed using three indicators. The first two are strict measures of residential density including (1) Gross Residential Density and (2) Net Residential Density (Bejleri, et al., 2008). The third measure (3) Effec tiv e Walking Area (EWA), is used to make assumptions on potential walkability based on the percentage of residential parcels that are f ound along the street network. Both of these main characteristics are represented in not only the two types of adjusted and unadjusted network sheds, but also within the analysis of urban design dimensions. Furthermore, by collecting the multiple parts of the data within the study and then creating an outline for an urban design analysis based on Matthew Carmona dimensions o f urban design, specific questions about the site and its surroundings are focused upon in full detail Focusing on the dimensions such as morphological, perceptual, social and vi sual, this separation is for the purpose of clarity in exposition and analysi Creating an overall complexion for pedestrianism, considering both the technical systems and t he detailed design complexities, complete s an overall design aesthetic and overlay that promotes and continues to change with time. Street Connectivity Because streets accommodate most forms of travel, their importance serves as a central focus in understanding patterns of walkability (Bejleri, et al., 2010). Historically cities have developed using different patterns and trends. At the beginning, based on early European city development plans, the older United States cities were laid in a gridiron pattern, but over time with the development of automobile and other technologies started to bring about irregular forms of roadways some made up of cul
35 de sacs and dead ends. The circuitous nature of lopping roadways of automobile thoroughfares, focused on making residential streets safer for the pedes trian. Conventional street designs have had adverse effects resulting in reduced connectivity, an increase in vehicle miles traveled, increased traffic conditions, and a host of other public nuisances and health related issues (Bejl eri, et al., 2010 from F rumkin et al., 2004). Theorists and planners such as Clarence Perry and Clarence Stein both publicized the importance of street hierarchy and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods. Both men were some of the early promoters of a community development built arou nd a school, which unfortunately took on many different forms by developers as subdivisions and presumably safer informal road linkages. Street connectivity can be used to create social interactions and spaces throughout different areas of a city. Segment s of streets can be designed to accommodate pedestrian use and outdoor dining at midday as well as large public gatherings at other times. Along with that, sidewalks connected to these streets are social spaces. They require great care to maintain their vi tality as something more than pedestrian conduits (Crankshaw, 2009). There are also measurements for street connectivity that helps promote ideal block lengths and sizes, levels of density and standards for rou te directness. Table 2 2 summariz es the most common measurements utilized in the urban planning field as proxies for street connectivity and ranges of values associated with high connectivity (Bejleri et al., 2008). The connection between the built environment and the physical activity of children and adults is prevalent.
36 Residential Density Density is often defined using population, employment, or floor area ratio. In this case, residential density statistics, using housing unit counts, indicate the maximum number of students who potenti ally live within pedestrian sheds around the selected elementary schools (Bejleri et al., 2008). This data provides a generality for how many potential students live within the SAZ attend ing the school and where the majority of the neighborhoods lie direct ionally towards the school location. However, it must also be taken into account that not every household has a child and some might have multiple but the general idea is to identify the di rection and path a student potentially takes from within a neighbo rhood cluster to the school Obviously this concept can be different in other types of urban or rural developments. In other cases a more urban development might have residential land use mixed with other types o f commercial and mixed land uses within sma ller block sizes or a more rural development could otherwise be vastly spread out to include larger block sizes. All types of residential densities are important to the potentiality of walkability. Higher residential densities as part of a pedestrian fri endly environment may lead As a result, individual physical activity levels may increase (Bejleri et al., 2008).
37 Table 2 1 Criteria for establishing school attendance z ones Priority Determinants 1 School Capacity 2 Convenience of access to schools 3 Safe and efficient student transportation and travel 4 Eff ective and appropriate instructional programs 5 Socio economic diversity in school enrollments 6 Financial and administr ative efficiency Source: Florida Statutes 1001.4141 41 (2), F.s.; 1001.42(4); 751.01 .05, F.S.
38 Table 2 2 Summary of common street c onnect ivity m easures Measure Description Ideal Values Block Length Blocks are the land area carved out by the st reet network. It is presumed that shorter the block, the greater amount of connectivity 300 to 600 feet (Dill, 2004) Block Size Measured by the length and the width, blocks that are smaller in total size presumably infer better connectivity Fort Colli ns, Colorado requires block sizes to be between 7 and 12 acres (Steiner, et al., 2006) Street Density The total linear miles (or kilometers) of streets per unit of area (usually in square miles of kilometers) Not identified Intersection Density The n umber of intersections per unit of area (usually in square miles or kilometers). It is presumed that higher density equates to higher connectivity Over 78 intersections per square mile (Frank, et al. 2005) Pedestrian Route Directness (PRD) The ratio of network distance to straight line distance for two selected points. Numbers closer to one may represent better connectivity Values between 1.2 and 1.5 have been recommended as acceptable standards (Dill, 2004) Residential Density The total number of d welling units (or parcels) per unit of area (usually in square miles or kilometers) Schools located in neighborhoods containing 5 dwelling units per acre (City of Raleigh, NC, 2008) Source: Bejle ri, et al., 2011
39 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This chapter des c ribes the specific data and the method that were used to analyze the walkability (including both pedestrians and bicyclist) of children in each surveyed school in Central Florida. Parts of this methodology was generated from a research project at the Unive rsity of Florida as part of the study developed by Dr s Ruth Steiner and Ilir Bejle ri funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundati on (Steiner, et al., 2008; Bejle ri, et al., 2008). The concept originated from The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA LU) legislation calls for the establishment of a Safe Routes to Sch ool program in each state that wa s funded for the five fiscal years from 2005 through 2009 The research examine d the data within school attendance zones related to patterns of children commute ( walking, biking, and motorized) to selected elementary schools located in and around central Florida. The main research components include: (1) the stu dy area and school siting analysis; (2) analysis of the potential walkability for children to and from elementary school sites based on the geospati al data collect ed and examined; (3 ) analysis of the actual children walking and biking to sch ool based on th e in school survey data; (4 ) full comparison and analysis of both potential and actual commuting totals to and from the schools focusing on the schools wi th high rates of walking; and (5 ) analysis of specific urban design aspects that provide the accessibi lity to the successful case studies
40 Establishing the Study Area Naturally any parent or guardian might question letting a young child averaging between t he age of 5 and 11 years old, walk more than two miles to and from school Aside from that, l iteratur e also show s that on average an acceptable distance for pedestrian and transit friendly travel can be distinguished by a 5 to (maximum) 10 min walk, which is approximately one quarter to one half of a mile (Ewing, 2000). However, as stated before, the Sta te of Florida established a two mile buffer around each school point where school bus transport ation is not provided unless there are special circumstances. Taking into account the state regulation and using a geographic information system (GIS) to attain manage, analyze, and display geographically referenced data this study focuses on the specific designs within the half mile maximum pedestrian friendly network and the one mile network within Seminole, Orange and Hillsborough Counties T he surveyed schools and any addition data collected within each county were taken around the specific points of all the 31 surveyed school s becoming the main focus of the study area. All the surveyed schools were randomly selected within the four counti es but only 26 of the 31 s urveyed schools are represented by name within this study based on privacy regulations These school districts were chosen because they have large populations (>400,000 in 2006), high rates of enrollment (>30,000 in 2005 2006 wit h >20 percent student enrollment growth from 2000 to 2005), and contain at least 30 elementary schools representing a range of time periods in which schools were constructed (Bejleri, Steiner, Fischman, & Schmucker, 2010 ) E ach school represents a diff eren t time period for development, whether historical (constructed before 1950) pre growth management (constructed between 1950 and 1985), pre school coordination
41 ( constru cted between 1986 and 1995), or post school coordination (constructed after 1995). These specific data sets are helpful in explaining population growth and growth management aspects that help ed shape the development and policy regulation once the analysis of the built environment characteristics take formation. Within the data, the study fir st focuses on the specific school site and the School Attendance Zones (SAZs). All the SAZs vary in size and shape dependent upon student and residential density work shed s, the two important measures used for breaking down the geospatial data. GIS data layers assembled for this study include high resolution aerial photographs, school attendance zone boundaries, school point locations, roadway network (including th e specific number of intersections and hazardous walking conditions ), property parcels, census data (specifically focu sed on income and vehicle ownership), crash frequencies and de identified 1 student residential locations (generalized by actual residentia l density in the Figures ). Development of Variable s to Measure Walkability From the selection of all 31 surveyed schools, there are multiples elements of data as established in determining the study area The multiple items of information within this stud y are all based on the potential walkability versus the actual or realized surveyed total When focusing on the two types of network analysis ( or catchment areas ) within the geospatial data there is an adjusted and an unadjusted dataset that translate s to the assumable pedestrian and automobile networks as the first analysis of the study Secondly there is also the availability of the survey data that can provide 1 De identified data refer to a data set in which sensitive information has been removed to protect the identity of stu dents (Bejleri, et al., 2010).
42 actual numbers and percentages of the different methods of transportation amongst the student s that attend each school, later used in comparison to the probable data that is within the GIS data. Development of Adjusted and Unadjusted Network Sheds The research amongst these four counties and each school attendance zone begin s based on analysis o f trends in street network connectivity and residential density near its zoned school These variables are measured by determining the number of residences that have reasonable walking and bicycling access to school or have incomplete commuting paths that would not hinder the student otherwise within both zonal area s of half mile and one mile Using GIS network analysis and previous studies a pedestria was determined as well as an automobile area The catchment area is a polygon that encapsulates all the parts of the network that are fully connected otherwise referred to as sheds As part of earlier research analysis, pedestrian sheds of half mile (10 minute walk) and one mile (20 minute walk) were first generated ar ound each school based on (a) straight line distance, (b) roadway network distance and (c) pedestrian network distance adjusted for barriers such as major roads, and lack of sidewalks and facilitators such as pedestrian paths, crossing guards and rear entr ances to school. The pedestrian sheds are compared based on two measures: (1) pedestrian route directness (PRD) an index that measures urban form permeability and connectivity and (2) the student count in each shed a measure that indicates how effectiv ely the pedestrian shed captures potential students along these networks. A n additional zone also analyzed in earlier studies represented as the pedestrian network shed was created using the street network around each school. Both the
43 pedestrian shed an d the pedestrian network shed extended beyond the boundaries of the SAZs and were adjusted to reflect the area contained within the school attendance zone (Bejleri, Steiner, Pro vost, Fischman, & Arafat, 2008) 3 1 shows visual ly how these pedestrian networ k sheds were created. Furthermore, the adjusted and unadjusted networks sheds refer to the modifications made f or the school attendance zones in relation to barriers and facilitators Figure 3 2 shows the generation of pedestrian sheds from the original po tential walkability diagram to the potential walkability adjusted for barriers and facilitators The final catchment areas (pedestrian sheds) were created using ArcGIS Network Analyst extension The difference between the two sets of final catchments netwo rk sheds used in this study is that virtually no adjustments were made (adjusted) networks. The adjusted walkability network was dev eloped based on zone specific indicators within each zone. These factors included: availability and design of a continuous, predictable, and safe sidewalks and bike paths, and barriers to the safe movement of pedestrians and bicyclists (e.g., major arteria ls, ditches and swales, difficult street crossings). Actual Walkability Survey Data The data that provides the actual student counts and the potential data are from two different forms of research collections. S urveyed teacher administered in school data w as previously collected over a three day period between 2007 and 2008 from each school help ing to identify the specific number of students that not on ly have the ability to walk or bike to school but actually use it as a daily means of commute in comparis on to the other forms of motorized transportation The geospatial data previous ly
44 previously collected and analyzed, as well as from the Florida Geographic Data Li brary (FGDL). This data included generalized locations of where students live for the purpose of zoning quantify ing the total number of students that accessibly live within both half mile and one mile connected networks. The overlapping of both data provides both the actua l and potential stu dent numbers that can provide percentage used to range each school on levels of walkability, furthermore increasingly focusin g on the specific schools that can provide methods for walkable development. One difference between both sets of data is that the survey data is unable to specifically locate whether the student being surveyed lives within the one mile network boundary. Even though the survey data is separate from the geospatial data and does not provide a specific description of how far each child lives from the school, it still provides a good understanding which school has the better chance of walkability just walking trends Charting out the numbers fr om each day and combining the walkers with the bicyclists in comparison to the daily school population can provide a specific walkable percentage for each day regardless of the specific location and travel route of the student Barriers and Facilitators : Urban Design Variables There are many urban design factors that can affect walkability. This part of the method is primarily focus ed on urban design variables around each school and within the half mile or one mile area in order to define what makes it d ifferent from the other school sites based on rates of walkability The focus was placed on a select number of school sites within the half mile and one mile network that have the high est rate of
45 potential walkability as well as a high percentage rate of a ctual pedestrians Measures were developed for t he size, placement and layout of t he adjusted catchment areas As for the specific barriers and facilitators of walkability, the main focus was to determine the specific aspects that define the surrounding u rban form and creating the opportunity for pedestrians. Within each shed measures were developed for number of students, the average pedestrian route directness (PRD), and number of housing units. M ajor roads, speed limits, personal safety aspects ( streetl ights, crossing guards etc) and t he lack of sidewalks act as the main barriers Facilitators considered include d pedestrian paths, crossing guards, siblings, and the specific number of access points and entrances to schools. Some of these variables can be both barriers and facilitators, which include time management, motivation, environment, and school related aspects. Summary The multiple sets of data within this study were developed to measure urban design characteristics that promote walkability. Focusi ng between the half mile and one mile pede strian and automobile catchment areas as well as the potential numbers stemmed from the pedestrian catchment and comparing them to the actual student number s within the surveyed data provide d the basis for the actu al school sites necessary to understand the role of barriers and facilitators of children travel to school.
46 Figure 3 1. Creation of analysis zones (pedestrian s heds) (Steiner, et al., 2008 )
47 Figure 3 2 Gener ation of pedestrian sheds (Bejle ri, e t al., 2011)
48 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS In this Chapter, the results are provided in four separate sections. The first section provide s the overall results of the study area and school siting analysis. The second section presents a comparison analysis of selected elementary schools within Hillsborough, Orange, Pasco and Seminole counties of the adjusted and unadjusted catchment areas including a comparison using the survey data. The third section break s down the specific urban design characteristics of at least on e specific school site per county that showed high rates of walkability. The last section provides a summary of the overall outcome Overview of Study Area The four counties in this study represent a significant portion of the total population and total s tudent enrollment for the State of Florida ( Figure 4 1). The 26 specifics schools (31 total within complete data) within the four central Florida counties of Hillsborough, Orange, Pasco and Seminole, represented a large sample of schools built during diffe rent time periods as well as a large and continually growing study region within the state of Florida correlating with Census data in 2011, Hillsborough and Orange County make up two of the top fiv e most populous counties in the state and population growth is level or continuing to increase. Orange County gained the most popula tion in the state between 2000 and 2010. Between 200 0 and 2 010 Census the data concluded that all four cou nties saw anywher e between a 13 to 25 percent (average of 20 percent) in crease in overall population along with an increase in total number family households an average of 13 percent ( Figure 4 2) Most importantly the t otal elementary s tudent enrollment of
49 al l four counti es equals about 19 percent student total. A feasible and sustainable design formula for development and u rban design not only help s project smart growth, but also provide s healthy communities and less dependency for automobiles for future residents Results of Walkability Comparison Analysis All the selected school sites within the study, although random, had many different qualities that gave further insight into the different types of elements that variably ch ange walkability possibilities. Providing a comparison analysis between all the data generated and collected is i ntended to provide practitioners with a technique to measure, at the aggregate level, factors in the spatial environment adjacent to schools th (Bejleri, et al. 2008). Within both analyses of the adju sted and unadjusted datasets as well as the actual survey data versus the pote ntial geospatial data, each is comparison is separated w ithin each county and each indiv idual school is shown with a map. Hillsborough County Hillsborough County the largest county in the study by size and second largest by population, is made up of 1,229,226 people within 132,935 are enrolled elementary scho ol students. Within the county, the study focused on thirteen specific elementary schools in total (twelve only represented openly in this paper) amongst the 133 public elementary schools within the whole county ( Figure 4 3 ) Hillsborough especially the c ity of Tampa has a traditional grid street pattern and historic neighborhoods schools, comprising one of the oldest inventories of schools in the state. Other parts of the county have suburban patterns and schools sited from the 1960s to the 1990s, while still other areas contain schools built recently under more innovative school planning
50 efforts. Hillsborough was a pilot community for coordinated school planning, and since 1997, the county and the school board have maintained an interlocal agreement to f acilitate information sharing between the two entities (Steiner 2009). Analysis #1: Adjusted and unadjusted network sheds The adjusted and unadjusted network sheds or catchment areas of the schools within Hillsborough County all have different variances o f size and location based from the location of schools and students. L ooking at the maps of schools like For est Hills Elementary (Figure 4 7 ), G ibsonton Elementary (Figure 4 8 ), Lake Magdalene (Figure 4 9 ), Mendenhall Elementary (Figure 4 10 ), Robles Eleme ntary (Figure 4 13 ), and Tampa Bay Boulevard Elementary (F igure 4 14 ) all show regimented half mile and one mile boundary lines as well as a closely relatable adjus ted and unadjusted network shed s These schools have a more formal level of residential deve lopment around the school, with less roadway and pedestrian restrictions in comparison to the other schools. Large green spaces and bodies of water can usually be the reason for a broken grid pattern like wi th Pride Elementary (Figure 4 11 ) an d Turner Elem entary (Figure 4 15 ). The erratic boundary lines of all the network connections definitely play a deterrent in potential walkability within a community. Amongst both the adjusted and unadjusted catchment areas, the maps also show the different densities o f residential parcels, most of them that house the students that attend the school within the attendance zone Just by looking at the map of Doby Elementary (Figure 4 5 ) one might be able to realize that the elementary school is built amongst a densely res idential neighborhood which provides reason for the high rate of walkability later discussed R iverview Elementary (Figure 4 12 ) is also surrounded by a large amount of residential properties. Rural development also provides a different level
51 of density a nd settlement patterns as seen at Bryan Elementary (Figure 4 4), Doby Elementary (Figure 4 5 ) and Dover Elementary (Figure 4 6 ). Property and parcel sizes surrounding Dover provides a lesser amount of nearby residents to the school and the large number of green space (whether agricultural or ecological protected land ) surrounding Bryan and Doby Elementary determine nonexistent pathways for pedestrians. Analysis #2: Actual survey data versus potential geospatial data After taking into account all the potent ial walkability within the adjusted and unadjusted catchment areas, the study focuses on the potential pedestrian network correlated to the teacher administered, in school survey data previously mentioned in this study. Using both the mapping data and the actual collected data helps provide a more c oncrete establishment of what is a successful ly walkable school development Also like previously discussed, walkability to an elementary school can entail more specific details needed for a safe development for a child however for this par t of the results the study focus es purely on the surface analysis of the potential geospatial data and the actual survey numbers. Even though the difference between both sets of data is that the survey data is unable to specif ically locate whether the student surveyed lives within the one mile network boundary, past research concludes that acceptable walking distance lies mo stly within a half mile radius but because of within a two m ile distance that proves to be the ultimate boundary. Since this study does focus on younger elementary students, a twenty minute commute of a one mile maximum was used. The surveyed Hillsborough County elementary schools showed a range in student count a mongst the potential and actual walkability numbers. The
52 elementary schools such as Robles and Tampa Bay Boulevard showed high potential for young pedestrians, however Robles was the only of the two that showed a high rate of walkability. Bryan, Riverview and Turner Elementary Schools showed an overall low potential and realized walkability totals and all three schools are closely located to a major roadway The p otential numbers always provided a substantially higher number in comparison to the actual surv ey total except for schools like Bryan, Dover and Riverview Elementary mostly because of the larger parcels size s and close location of major roads acting as immediate boundaries. A f ter closely comparing the two sets of data, study shows that both Doby and Robles Elementary Schools presented high rates of walkability not only potentially but mostly in actual surveyed numbers. The two schools are used in the urban design analysis later on within this chapter. Orange County Orange County, the second largest county by size and largest by population, is made up of 1,145,956 people within 120,313 are enrolled elementary school students. Within the county, the study focused on eleven specific elementary schools in total (seven only represented openly in this pape r) amongst the 120 public elementary schools within the whole county ( Figure 4 16 ). Although it may be more urban at its core than Hillsborough, Pasco, and Seminole counties, sprawl is characteristic of Orange County, due to unbridled growth influenced by the construction of I 4 and the Florida Turnpike. Whereas Orlando exhibits a traditional grid street pattern and historic neighborhood schools, many schools built beyond the city limits are typically in the midst of the cur vilinear street patterns and cul de sacs of suburbia (Steiner, 2009).
53 Analysis #1: Adjusted and unadjusted network sheds The adjusted and unadjusted network sheds, or catchment areas, in Orange County project a full range of different types of school developments. Taking into account the few schools that the study was unable to mention for privacy, the seven out of eleven schools all show different variations of schools within the county except for any that were historically built. Focusing on street networks, every school location was loc ated within a mile from a major highway. Naturally that provide s the adjusted or pedestrian network with a boundary. The placement of the major highways and roadways within Orange County play a role in the size and shape of the network shed or catchme nt ar ea. Both Maxey (Figure 4 19) and Riverdale (Figure 4 21 ) Elementary Schools are shaped primarily by the location of the school and the major roadway within close proximity, considered possibly Elementary is also the largest within the selected schools. John Young (Figure 4 17 ) and Pineloch Elementary (Figure 4 20 ) both have outer western boundaries by major hi ghways while Lovell (Figure 4 18 ) and Sh enandoah Elementary (Figure 4 22 ) have major roadways splitti ng both network and visibly not affected the size and boundary lines of both. From that the study might suggests later on that both Lovell and Shenandoah might have certain qualities that provide a connected roadway system for cars, but also that the devel opment must have quality pedestrian linkages. The residential density within the surveyed Orange County elementary schools visually seems to be either integrated with other land uses or part of a primarily residential community like John Young, Riverdale, Shenand oah and Stone Lakes (Figure 4 23 ) Elementary Schools Surrounding Lovell, Maxey and Pinelo ch Elementary Schools the maps show that the surrounding development is more divers e a mongst its
54 types of land uses available including some commercial and ec ological (green space) parcels. A ll eleven presented and private maps within Orange County were also built post 1950 This detail could later provide some further analysis on the specific characteristics each school provides going against what literature u sually says providing that schools built before 1950 and before growth management and school coordination policies generally were surrounded by higher density Aside from the two catchment areas all the represented Orange County schools show a re asonable amount of density surrounding each school that most likely include details that motivate s and allows children to walk to school Analysis #2: Actual survey data versus potential geospatial data Orange County provides comparatively high number s f o r potential child commuters and actual (or realized ) commuters compared to most other schools throughout the entire study. Aside from Maxey, Pineloch and Riverdale Elementary Schools all had an average of between 52 and 170 children walking or biking to sc hool within the three day survey collection data. Along with that, John Young, Lovell, Shenandoah and three of the four privatized schools have the potential of at least 200 students walking or biking to school. Some of these schools actually can provide t he numbers within the survey data that goes to prove that whatever design aesthetics the development focused on, helped provide people with the comfort of having their child walk to school. The school with the lowest total margin between potential data and actual (or realized) data proves to be the successful one. For a school like Shenandoah, having the potential of 214 students accessibility to walk to school and then provide that on average 123 actually do participate is considered successful school deve lopment. Along with that, Lovell also has an extremely high rate of walkability and those two sites
55 are later used in the urban design analysis to pinpoint what possible quality provides students with those options more often than other s Pasco County Pas co County is made up of 464,697 people within 44,717 are enrolled elementary school students. Within the county, the study focused on 3 specific ele mentary schools ( Figure 4 24 ) amongst the 46 other elementary schools Pasco County is directly adjacent to and north of Hillsborough County. Interstate 75 (I 75) runs along the west coast of Florida connecting the two counties, and in recent years Pasco has become a suburban haven for workers c ommuting to Tampa using I 75. During the time of the survey in 2007, Pasco was ranked the fiftieth fastest growing county in the country by the U.S. Census Bureau, based on population growth from 2000 to 2006 (Steiner, 2009). Analysis #1: Adjusted and unadjusted network sheds All three elementary schools surveyed within Pa sco County represent the three main shapes or types of catchment areas we have previously discussed. First Chasco Elementary (Figur e 4 25 ) is what was referred to earlier network layout, correlating to one or several major roads lying wit hin a close proximity to the school location. Richey Elementary (Fig ure 4 26 ) is made up of well thought out development scheme around regimented roadways and residential neighborhoods. Providing that the school was built in 1958, pre growth management pha se along with the location help explain the design. Lastly Seven Springs Elementary (Figure 4 27 ) primarily focuses on one side of the school because of a major highway to the east of the location creating a heavy boundary and limits the pedestrian shed In relation to the similar adjusted and unadjusted network sheds, these types of developments are not uncommon especially
56 during the time period before school coordination. All three of the surveyed schools in Pasco County display different forms and coor dination elements of school siting. Analysis #2: Actual survey data versus potential geospatial data adjusted and unadjusted data analysis b ut also in the surveyed numbers colle cted. Chasco Elementary provides no potential number for walkability and only one person on average took it u pon himself or herself to walk to school. Just by looking at the ma p of Chasco Elementary, one begin s to see how Ridge Road (US Highway 56 ) is acti ng mainly as a boundary line, separating both the school location from all the large northern residential development. This presents the question as to what physically makes this school inaccessible and how it fits within the landscape and surrounding area s. However, Richey and Seven Springs Elementary School present not only high numbers for potential walkers in relation to the total number of students enrolled but also presents above average actual number taken from the survey. Comparatively Richey and S even Springs Elementary have fewer limitations when it comes to their adjusted or pedestrian network shed especially making Richey Elementary the prime focus within this county in the urban design analysis later within this chapter Seminole County Semin ole County is made up of 422,718 people within 44,649 are enrolled elementary school students. Within the county, the study focused on 4 specific elementary schools in total amongst the 37 total public elementary schools with in the county ( Figure 4 24 ). S eminole County is located directly north of Orange County.
57 Pasco County are rural in n ature, very little land in Seminole County is undeveloped (Steiner, 2009). Analysis #1: Adjusted and unadjusted network sheds The four elementary schools within Seminole County used in this study all closely border the northern portion of Orange County and all four also connected to a major roadway within the county From previous studies, historically street density and development within Seminol e was very minimal before 1950. Most development, including all four of the elementary schools in this study, wa s started post 1950 before growth management took place. Also just assuming the population of Orange County continues to grow, that will only give Seminole County the opportunity to possibly to also grow along to meet supply and demand for residents especi ally bordering the county. All four elementary schools project a similar layout and context of each site. All are located within a heavily residential neighborhood and only provide minimal, if at all any, variation in land uses. From just purely looking a t the maps, Bear Lake (Figure 4 28), Longwood (Figure 4 30 ) and S terling Park (Figure 4 31 ) Elementary Schools are all schools primarily within a large residential community located off one majo r roadway. Carillon Elementary (Figure 4 29 ) is different only because the roadway provides the locations. In comparing the adjusted and the unadjusted catchment areas, one will notice that mostly all of them provide similar areas for both but one interesting detail is that the adjusted or pedestrian catchment areas sometimes actually cover more area then the unadjusted or automobile catchment. That would conclude that there is less limitations for students within the half mile and one mile radius of all the schools then
58 there is for automobile transportat ion. The urban design site analysis provide s further insight into why Seminole County projects that sort of outcome. Analysis #2: Actual survey data versus potential geospatial data I n the comparison between the actual survey data and the potential numbers projected geospatially, all four of the elementary schools within the county showed an even sample of both numbers. All four averaged between 11 and 21 percent walkability in the sur vey numbers and the potential numbers of Bear Lake, Carillon and Longwood were not less than 248 within the one mile pedestrian catchment area. Sterling Park Elementary shows lower number but in comparison to the total number of students that attend the sc hool and the area it covers, it is comparatively successful amongst all the elementary schools within the study. The higher numbers all stem from the fact that all these locations, like previously discussed, are surrounded by heavily residential parcels. T he schools act as part of the community within the area and were more than likely built to accommodate any future resident planning on living within the area. Even though all the schools used in this study showed interesting numbers, Longwood Elementary sh ows the lowest margin between the actual and potential numbers and the highest percentage of students commuting by walking and biking over the th ree day survey. Longwood is the focus ed site within Seminole County during the urban design analysis. Urban De sign Analysis : Qualitative Results All the selected school sites within the study, although random, had many different qualities that gave further insight into the different types of characteristics a person might not initially notice within a walkable com munity. Based on Public Places Urban Spaces dimensions of urban design (Carmona, 2003) there are different levels of analysis one should acknowledge. First there is the morphological dimension that
59 outlines the urban space including the figure ground, siz e of blocks, grid type a nd permeability. Secon dly, a perceptual dimension establishes the sense of place within an area defining paths, edges, districts, no des and possibly even landmarks. Next an analysis must particularly pay attention to the visual asp ects of the defined area. Aesthetic and p hysical features such as sidewalk widths, street width, traffic volumes, buildin g heights, canopies, and patterns are some examples that a person might notice first. Breaking down the specific qualities of urban des ign such as sense of enclosure, sense of place, human scale, and linkage could be a descriptive analysis that could be done amongst each school that generated a high rate of walkability. Furthermore, when talking about children walking to school, additiona l analysis need s to focus on individual variables such as sense o f safety and comfort. Each si te has an overall walkability that is characterized by its physical efforts, but the potential to walk in comparison to the actuality of walking changes based on the walking behavior of the surrounding areas and the logistics that are prevalent w ithin the attendance zone The particular elementary schools selected re presented the highest rates of walkability based on the survey data, dividing the total walkers and bikers in the total number surveyed and not the total enrolled Some of the poor numbers resulted from outside forces that even walkability characteristics would not be able to change. Analyzing all the s urvey data numbers (Figures 4 32 and Figure 4 33 ), the particular sites selected are credibly walkable with percentages off walkers and bikers over 20 percent of the total each day. Within Hillsb orough County, Doby (Figure 4 34) and Robles (Figure 4 36 ) Elementary Schools were selected. Within Or ange Count y, Lovell (Figure 4 38) and Shenandoah (Figure 4 40 ) Elementary Schools were selected. Lastly,
60 within Pasco County wa s Richey Elementary (Figure 4 42 ) and within Seminole County was Longwood Elementary (Figure 4 44 ). School Site # 1: Doby Elementary Number of potential pedestrians : 59 within Half Mile / 177 within One Mile Nu mber of actual pedestrians/bicyclists : 107 Average rat e of walkability in survey: 26 % Average number of students surveyed: 415.3 Total enrolled: 390 Initially reviewing the site, the study establishes that Doby Elementary was built in 2005 making it the newest developed school within the surveyed schools in Hillsborough County ( Figure 4 35 for full chart of analysis) Along with that, based on the location of the school and residential density surrounding it, the study concluded that it is built within a m ore rural area of the county with the focus of becoming a traditional neighborhood development. Examining dimension takes that assumption about the deve lopment and examines the space and street pattern. Establishing that the layout is mostly a traditional neighborhood development, t he density is present showing condense building pattern with 1,288 individual residential units only within a one mile pedest rian catchment area. The hat almost each road end point or residential cul de sac becomes only a place to go rather than a place that might also be passed through on the way to somewhere else (Carm ona, et al., 2003). This might be an important concept to the idea of walkability, in which the layout protects the arterial roads from being congested with outside commuters. The structure of the grid is misaligned from the shaping of the residential or u rban blocks to the variation in street widths.
61 The surroundings perceptual dimension defines the sense of place and establishes different elements it physically includes. Looking particularly at the paths, there is a noticeable scale and concentration of the roads. As for edges, Interstate 75 acts as a major eastern edge for the development. As for design for an elementary school, there always must be certain change in texture, form or space to distinguish the presents of school children. In Figure 4 36 im age A, the large crosswalk separates the development from the neighborhood and plays as a key linkage to the site (or node), especially considering the low number of intersections (27 with the Half Mile and 44 within the One Mile). The social dimension of Doby Elementary and its surroundings fit the concept of neighborhood unit elements that fit the compact and interconnected development. Aside from providing no variation in land uses and accessibility is limited to people who live outside the attendance z one all elements help towards creating a safe environment for pedestrians and bicyclist Visual aspects, such as street lighting, prove that the high rates for walkability were attainable as long as the community is aware of the importance of safety and s e curity as well. Also examining the fact that the one mile pedestrian network shed only has one bicycle or pedestrian crash recorded shows the low chance of hazardous conditions within the given boundary. Establishing the denseness and safeness of the surr ounding area around Doby Elementary gives precedence for why the rate of walkability is high. Visual analysis of Doby Elementary includes physical attributes include visible bicycle lanes, large gated area and racks for bicycles on school property, low sp eed limits at all times, newer sidewalks and visible crosswalks, street lighting, open
62 area/new development, and only two lane roads surrounding the school site. Aesthetically within the whole attendance zone and focusing on the network of streets and how the development functions this particular area of Hillsborough County is recognized with a sense of pattern and order, as well as naturalness to the sites topography. The bottom left images on Figure 4 33 outlines the positive and negative space forming t he current bold informal layout. Finally in discussing the socio economic aspects of the area surrounding Doby Elementary, one might already predict that the development houses relatively more families who do not live below the poverty line, but in actual ity make the higher incomes. In 2010, based on Federal Poverty Guidelines and Census Bureau Data, the poverty line for one person under 65 was US$11,344 and US$22,133 for a family. Pertaining to the s ocio economic analysis of Doby Elementary the Census da ta concludes that 4.6 percent of the people within the one mile pedestrian network shed live below the individual poverty line, which in this case is based on wh oever makes less than US$14,000, and in addition to that percentage of people, 11.2 percent of the people make below US$29,000. In addition to those numbers, about 2.4 percent of the Census block population does not own a car. School Site #2: Robles Elementary Number of potential pedestrian s: 155 within Half Mile / 342 within One Mile Number of act ual pedestrians/bicyclists : 154 Average rate of walkability in survey : 24 % Average number of students surveyed: 657.7 Total enrolled: 729 Robles Elementary was built in 1959, before the initiation of Growth Management practices with Hillsborough County ( Figure 4 37 for full chart of analysis) Along with
63 that, one might acknowledge from the maps that the surrounding land uses are primarily residential with variation of land uses to the east of the site beyond the one mile pedestrian network shed. The site s morphological dimension displays a mostly traditional figure ground with a variety of block sizes. The grid is somewhat both symmetrical and deformed since the site is not only dealing with major roadways as boundaries, but a lso the Hillsborough River. The densely developed area around the school site, including the 2,013 residential units within the One Mile Catchment, help s to promote permeability for both pedestrians and automobiles. The sense of place near Robles Elementary include s a variety of pa ths, edges and levels of topography. Between the 47 intersections within the Half Mile and the 130 intersections in the One Mile sheds, it has double the amount of intersections acting as breaks between block s as well as possible traffic inclusions in conf lict with pedestrians than at Doby Elementary. Asi de from E Sligh Avenue that acts as the main access road in front of the school, which is also reduced to a two lane road at the intersection of N 56 th Street, the site only has arterial roadways that borde r the One Mil e Catchment boundary. One of those major edges is the six line N 56 th Street along the further eastern point o f the One Mile network shed, E Hannah Ave at the southern edge and N 40 th Street to the west. The Hillsborough River also acts as a m ajor boundary to the west of the school site. The configuration and content of Robles is a large determinate for type of safety and security elements surround the area. The heavy density and major roadways within close proximity of the elementary school a dds for an extra challenge for pedestrians and bicyclist s Considering the 12 pedestrian and bicycle crashes that occurred within the
64 Half mile and the 28 within the One Mile, the school still shows higher numbers of walkability than Doby Elementary. The s ignificance comes from the heavy integration of other land uses and also other nearby schools. Also Figure 4 34 shows that the majority of the crashes happen along the major roadways and away from the locations where the majority of students live, which li es directly to the north and south of the school. Visual aspects of Robles include what seems to be a cul de sac development, visible crosswalks and signs around the school, as well as sidewalks. The historical aspects of the school are prevalent in the si ze and condition of the sidewalks surrounding the school as well as the mix of both single family and multi family housing directly across from the site. There also seems to be only one visual entrance to the school for pedestrians with no visible bike loc k location and no visible speed limit signs within close proximity. Lastly, the socio economi c analysis of Robles Elementary within the Census data concludes that 40.6 percent of the people within the one mile pedestrian network shed live below the individ ual poverty line, which in this case is based on whoever makes less than US$14,000, and in addition to that percentage of people, 16.8 percent of the people make below US$29,000. T hat data concludes that 57.4 percent more than half of the people living wi thin the one mile catchment areas surround Robles Elementary make less than US$29,000 annually. In addi tion to those numbers, about 7 percent of the Census block population does not own a car. As literature has previously stated, lower income neighborhoods are more than likely to walk or bike to school within a two mile radius than in comparison to a child within a family who lives above the poverty line. Considering both schools are within Hillsborough County, one of the main
65 comparisons between Doby Eleme ntary and Robles Elementary is the difference in socio economics, providing that even safety, scale and sense of place do not change effect the walkability numbers. School Site #3: Lovell Elementary Number of potential pe destrians: 51 within Half Mile / 29 4 within One Mile Number of actual pedestrians/bicyclists: 122 Average rate of walkability in survey : 34 % Average number of students surveyed: 357 Total enrolled: 722 Lovell Elementary School was built in 1960 before Growth Management was established in O range County, like many of the other surveyed school sites with the four counties ( Figure 4 39 for full chart of analysis) The traditional building layout shows a varie ty of block and parcels sizes. The permeability of the school site is associated with t he location of the two major roadways surrounding it, Semoran Boulevard and Orange Blossom Trail. Those two major roadways provide fluidity through the gridded street system. The majority of the space between those two major roads holds a dense 139 residen tial units within the Half Mile Catchment and 501 residen tial units within the One Mile, housing the majority of the 122 commuting students. Orange Blossom Trail and Semoran Boulevard both act as an edge and boundary of both half mile and one mile catchmen t areas, creating a viable mix of la nd uses around the school site including the high density of residential units The number of intersections between these boundaries is small in comparison of the other school sites with only 13 within the Half Mile and 61 within the One Mile Catchment. This provides the idea that the block sizes where the majority of the students reside are larger within the area south of the school site and north of Orange Blossom Trail. This still does not
66 determine the location of the various pedestrian and bicycli st crashes. The majority of 10 crashes within the Half Mile and the 24 within the One Mile take places along the major roadways but the locations also exist near the school. The high potential for walkability versus the actu al surveyed nu mber shows a large differential even though there was a high count of children living within the One Mile Catchment. Visual aspects of Lovell Elementary include the fact that the school site is between two major roads creating a specific typ e of node. Visible sidewalks, crosswalks and speed limits signs help direct potential pedestrians, but the presence of no street lights provide that walkability around the area is only for hours of the daylight. Pertaining to the socio economic analysis o f Lovell Elementary, the Census data concludes that 15 percent of the people within the one mile pedestrian network shed live below the individual poverty line, which in this case is based on whoever makes less than US$14,000, and in addition t o that perce ntage of people, 33.6 percent of the people make below US$29,00 0. That data concludes that 48.6 percent, about half of the people living within the one mile catchment areas surround Lovell Elementary make less than US$29,000 annually. In ad dition to those numbers, about 7.2 percent of the Census block population does not own a car. This site could be closely relatable to Robles Elementary in Hillsborough County. School Site #4: Shenandoah Elementary Number of potential pe destrians: 52 within Half Mile / 21 4 within One Mile Number of actual pedestrians/bicyclists: 123 Average rate of walkability in survey : 21% Average number of students surveyed: 587.3 Total enrolled: 659
67 Also similarly to the previous Lovell Elementary site, Shenandoah Elementary was built before Growth Management implementation in 1969 ( Figure 4 41 for full chart of analysis) Given the majority of the sites we have focused on were built around the same timeframe 40+ years ago, land development, roadways and regulations have cha nged a lot since then. However in most cases, the development happens within a close proximity of the school. Primarily single family housing surrounds Shenandoah Elementary, similar to Doby and Robles Elementary Schools previously discussed. Traditional neighbo rhood development with a laddered street grid, providing a course set of connections reducing permeability. The high density is represented in the 353 residential units within the Half mile Catchment and the 1,439 residential units within the One Mile. The stud ent density locations are spread almost evenly across the whole development, providing the reason why 123 students, over half of the potential number of students within a One Mile Catchment, actually commute to school by walking or biking to school every d ay Establishing a sense of place within a central location of a large development primarily made up of re sidential units is dependent upon the feeling of the neighborhood itself. Shenandoah Elementary borders between heavy residential units outlining the natural landscape as well as major roadways that not only divides the pedestrian network, but also acts as an edge. Hoffner Avenue and Gatlin Avenue are displayed as the north and south edges to the development and Conway Road connects the two roadways wi th the actual school site. Withi n the catchment areas there is relatively the same number of intersection s as its fellow Orange County school Lovell Elementary, with 24 within the Half Mile and 90 within the One Mile. This could give explanation for
68 why t he potential and actual pedestrian numbers are so close between the two schools. Also t he four lane Conway in front of the elementary school challenges the school location within the concept of linkage, access and safety. However t he separate entrance and road built in 2007, around the time of the survey, offset s traffic from the entrance of Conway Road and makes the school more of its own distinct destination That element could explain why there are lesser pedestrian and bike crashes (8 within the Half mi le and 12 within the One Mile) purely from that road construction. The map (Figure 4 36) displays that the majority of those crashes h appen along Conway Road, so with reduced numbers of automobile commuters using the previously single entrance helps allow Shenandoah Elementary to be the safer school within the two Orange County schools focused on. Visual aspects of Shenandoah Elementary include the renovation concluded between March of 2007 and November of 2007 from aerial images that not only improved the school itself, but also provided a separate backside road and entrance to the school in order to avoid the major four lane roadway located right to the west of the school site. Pertaining to the socio economic analysis of Lovell Elementary, the Census dat a concludes that 5.2 percent of the people within the one mile pedestrian network shed live below the individual poverty line, which in this case is based on whoever makes less than US$14,000, and in addition to that percentage of people, 18.6 percent of t he people make below US$29,000. That data concludes that 23.8 percent of the people living within the one mile catchment areas surround Shenandoah Elementary make less
69 than US$29,000 annually. In addition to those numbers, about 3.4 percent of the Census b lock population does not own a car. School Site #5: Richey Elementary Number of potential pedestrians: 86 within Half Mile & 215 within One Mile Number of actual pedestrians/bicyclists: 96 Average rate of walkability in survey: 21% Average number of studen ts surveyed: 458.7 Total enrolled: 645 An earlier built elementary school in Pasco Count y Richey was built in 1958. Located alongside of US Highway 19, this school site shows a more various level of density surrounding its location ( Figure 4 43 for full chart of analysis) Containing 668 individual residential units within the Half Mile catchment and largely 1529 units within the One Mile, the numbers can then explain the heavy density. A s a more modern urban space environment, the surrounding area displa ys mostly small sized block with a finely meshed gri d allowing the space to have mor e continuity. The permeability of the gridded allows primary movement of both pedestrians and automobile. Defining the site and esta blishing the perceptual dimension of Richey Elementary starts with the major defining edges that contain the development. Both major roadways of US 19 and Congress Street set eastern and western perimeter to the school and its surrounding developm ent. The gridded network of streets formulates concentrated and well used pathways The gridded street system, intertwining 90 intersections within the Half Mile and 199 within the One Mile, is a much larger area than most of the other analyzed school sites aside f rom Robles Elementary in Hillsborough County, its neighborhood county. Considering the large amount of intersections, the small block
70 sizes and visibility help contain the amount of pedestrian and bicycle crashes down to 7 within the Half Mile and 25 withi n the One Mile. The placement and environment of the school could be an added characteristics because no t only does the school border several civic buildings but also a police department. Visually Richey Elementary and its surrounding area provide more ac commodations for pedestrians including crosswalks, sidewalks and active speed limit signs that notify drivers if they are speeding by the school. Also the level of safety is prevalent with a closely located police department and recreational center. Perta ining to the socio economic analysis of Richey Elementary, the Census data concludes that 18.4 percent of the people within the one mile pedestrian network shed live below the individual poverty line, which in this case is based on whoever makes less than US$14,000, and in addition to that percentage of people, 44.7 percent of the people make below US$29,000. That data concludes that 63.1 percent of the people living within the one mile catchment areas surround Richey Elementary make less than US$29,000 ann ually. In addition to those numbers, about 8.9 percent of the Census block population does not own a car. This is concluded to be the lowest income level school within the study. School Site # 6: Longwood Elementary Number of potential ped estrians: 113 wi thin Half Mile / 248 within One Mile Number of actual pedestrians/bicyclists: 83 Average rate of walkability in survey: 25% Average number of students surveyed: 341.3 Total enrolled: 703 Built in 1959, Longwood Elementary is one of many schools within Sem inole County that were built before Florida Growth Management Act ( Figure 4 4 5 for full chart
71 of analysis) The traditional development made up of primarily small blocks and parcels provides a fine grid useful in accommodating continuity within and around the area. Similar to some of the other elementary schools, Longwood has about 443 residential units within the Half Mile and 1,132 within the One Mile pedestrian network shed explaining the high potential number for walkers or bicyclists. In relation to th e type of density the site contains, looking at the number of intersections versus the number of ped estrian and bicycle crashes help s explain the level of safety and access the school has to offer. Longwood within the Half Mile was recorded with 3 crashes while within the One Mile there were only 5. Relative comparing all the six schools used in this urban design analysis, Longwood and Dobles are the two schools with the fewer amounts of crashes. Both share a few more similarities aside from the more precis e boundary line of Longwood in addition to the lakes that surround the area, breaking up the repetitive and rhythmic pattern of the residential units. Also there is a much larger comparison of intersections within the developments with Longwood having 45 w ithin the Half Mile and 118 within the One Mile, providing the concept that within a traditional neighborhood, the multiple numbers of intersections might not be too much of a deterrent for walkers. Pertaining to the socio economic analysis of Longwood E lementary, the Census data concludes that 4.6 percent of the people within the one mile pedestrian network shed live below the individual poverty line, which in this case is based on whoever makes less than US$14,000, and in addition to that percentage of people, 20.9 percent of the people make below US$29,000. That data concludes that 25.5 percent of the people living within the one mile catchment areas surround Longwood Elementary
72 make less than US$29,000 annually. In addition to those numbers, about 5.4 percent of the Census block population does not own a car.
73 Figure 4 1 Layout and b ackground of complete study a re a
74 Figure 4 2 Map from U.S. Ce nsus Bureau showing population change by C ounty: 2000 to 2010
75 Figure 4 3 Map of school attendance z ones in Hillsborough County
76 Figure 4 4 Map of Brya n Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hillsborough County
77 Figure 4 5 Map of Doby Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in H illsborough County
78 Figure 4 6 Map of Dove r Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hillsborough County
79 Figure 4 7 Map of Forest Hill s Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hill sborough County
80 Figure 4 8 Map of Gibsonto n Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hillsborough County
81 Figure 4 9 Map of Lake Magdalen e Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in H illsborough County
82 Figure 4 10 Map of Mendenhal l Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hillsborough County
83 Figure 4 11 Map of Prid e Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hill sborough County
84 Figure 4 12 Map of Rivervie w Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hillsborough County
85 Figure 4 13 Map of Roble s Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hillsbo rough County
86 Figure 4 14 Map of Tampa Bay Boulevar d Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hillsborough County
87 Figure 4 15 Map of Turne r Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Hillsborough County
88 Figure 4 16 Map of school attendance z ones of Orange County
89 Figure 4 17 Map of John Young Elementary half mile and one mile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Orange County
90 Figure 4 18 Map of Lovell El ementary half mi le and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Orange County
9 1 Figure 4 19 Map of Maxe y Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Orange County
92 Figure 4 20 M ap of Pineloch Elementary half m il e and one mile a djusted/unadjusted catchments ar eas in Orange County
93 Figure 4 21 Map of Riverdal e Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Orange County
94 Figure 4 22 Map of Shenandoa h Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/una djusted catchments a reas in Orange County
95 Figure 4 23 Map of Stone Lake s Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Orange County
96 Figure 4 24 Map of school attendance zones of (A) Pasco County and (B) Seminole Count y A
98 Figure 4 25 Map of Chasc o Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Pasco County
99 Figure 4 26 Map of Riche y Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Pasco County
100 Fi gure 4 27 Map of Seven Spring s Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Pasco County
101 Figure 4 28 Map of Bear Lak e Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Seminole County
102 Figure 4 29 Map of Carillo n Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Seminole County
103 Figure 4 30 Map of Longwoo d Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Seminole County
104 Figure 4 31 Map of Sterling Par k Elementary half mile and one m ile adjusted/unadjusted catchments a reas in Seminole Count y
105 Figure 4 32 Chart of survey data collected (A) Day 1 (B) Day 2 and (C) Day 3 A B
108 Figure 4 33 Graph of actual versus potent ial pedestrian student c ount
109 Figure 4 34 Map of Doby Elementary in Hillsb orough County for urban design a nalysis
110 Figure 4 35 Chart of Doby Elementary c haracteristics (including analysis of dimensions of urban d esign of the site)
111 Fig ure 4 36 Map of Robles Elementary in Hillsborough County for urban design a nalysis
112 Figure 4 37 Chart of Robles Elementary c haracteristics (including analysis of esign of the site)
113 Figure 4 38 Map of Lovell Element ary in Orange County for urban design a nalysis
114 Figure 4 39 Chart of Lovell Elementary c haracteristics (including analysis of esign of the site)
115 Figure 4 40 Map of Shenandoah Elementary in Orange County for urban des ign a nalysis
116 Figure 4 41 Chart of Shenandoah E lementary c haracteristics (including analysis of esign of the site)
117 Figure 4 42 Map of Richey Elementary in Pasco County for urban design a nalysis
118 Figure 4 43 Char t of Richey Elementary c haracteristics (including analysis of esign of the site)
119 Figure 4 44 Map of Longwood Elementary in Se minole County for urban design a nalysis
120 Figure 4 45 Chart of Doby Elementary c haracterist ics (including analysis of d imensi ons of urban d esign of the site )
121 A B C D E F Figure 4 46 Series of visual factors used in promoting walkability at the surveyed elementary schools A) Displays a crosswalk at Doby Elementary B) displays the road width and crosswalk at Robles Elementary, C) shows a speed limit sign at Lovell Elementary, D) displays the multiple uses of signage at the major intersection in front of Shenandoah Elementary, E) displays the multi ple uses of signage including the active speed limit sign at Richey Elementary and F) shows signage and roadway displays of school zone at Longwood Elementary All photos were taken from Google Earth.
122 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCL USION This study analyti cally identifies several different urban design characteristics as well as logistics of development that are important towards encouraging walkability amongst young children. Within the methods, establishing the study area and thereafter providing a compar ison data analy sis between the geospatial and survey data and then following it with the result of the urban design analysis helped provide these results When discussing the complexities of how children walk to school in relation to their built environme nt there are a lot of different variables taken into account that normally might not be considered if strictly discussing adults. In this case, the main focus was centered up on visual characteristics and somewhat then deciphered generalities from socio ec onomic and historical details. Focusing on the network sheds that represented data such as straight line distance, block length or size, and connectivity within both half mile and one mile distances provided a good basis for the study, but the addition of the urban design analysis gave physicality to these sites and provided further explanation for the high rates of walkability. One of the main important parts of the study was the comparison between the data within the Half Mile and the One Mile. Whether i t was density, population, land use or even restricted natural boundaries or edges, all was taken into account in the final results of the walkability urban design analysis. Going back to the methodology, the adjusted (pedestrian) and unadjusted (automobil e) network sheds essentially played a small role, considering the variation in size and location was very similar. However with the analysis of the both distance projections, providing information beyond the actual site of the school and the close by neigh borhoods, helped give a broader range of
123 barriers and facilitators within traditional or urban developments. The urban design characteristics were more of a measure for daily conditions and obstacles pedestrians face. Not only does a pedestrian consider th e dist ance and amount of time it take s to get from one point to another, they also must c onsider the variables that enable or hinder them from getting there along the way (placement of sidewalks, major roads/highways, placement of crossing guards or crossw alks, etc.). Based on the findings from this study and the supportive literature, it is assumed that there is a higher probability for walkability where schools are surrounded by traditional neighborhood style developments, as seen at Doby Elementary in H illsborough County. However, with some examples of more urban development with heavy usage of a gridded street networks and visible pedestrian aides can also produce high rates of walkability, regardless of social and economic status like Robles Elementary in Hillsborough County and Lovell Elementary in Orange County. First analyzing the GIS data surrounding all 26 elementary school sites, there was an immediate focus on the size of the pedestrian network sheds (or catchment areas), the actual placement of these school sites within the SAZs, street and residential densities and then the overall scale of these element s. Some examples include whether the size of the SAZ is similarly the size of the pedestrian network sheds, which can predict h igher potential f or walkability. Along with that, major roads can restrict conn ectivity and reduce walkability and higher densities of reside ntial units within the SAZ prove to have higher potential for walkability. Visually, the type of grid and pattern within these netwo rks start to formulate a hypothesis for the rate of walkability the site might produce. Furthermore, since residential density and street connectivity play huge roles
124 in determining the design composition, schools with more restrictive elements were going to be affected and the accessibility hindrance would adversely show within the survey data. Focusing on the actual survey data provided the type of concrete evidence needed to show the successful walkable school sites. Averaging together all the individua l day study and then dividing them by the total number of students that were actually surveyed, not the total number of students enrolled, provided the percentage rates of walkability for each school. Even thoug h the total number of students surveyed differentiated between the total students enrolled, if the site provided a certain amount of consistency relatable to other successful school sites, it would be set to assume that the rate of walkability would closel y translate for the total amount of students. Deciding to focus on just the successful sites and not the unsuccessful ones was intentional to provide the set of characteristics that are only encouraging towards walkability. Being aware that some of these noted characteristics could also be potential barriers does not hinder the fact that, even with some of the different combinations of positive and negative characteristics within each school boundary, there is still the ability for children to walk to scho ol and live within an active community. The justification for this study is to promote healthy living amongst children and decipher positive and saf e elements for parents to allow the option. Different types of activities surrounding schools provide susta inable and healthy neighborhoods. Evidence shows that the location of the school in the SAZ, the presence of higher density housing immediately around the school, the street network (size of the
125 catchment), and the size of the SAZ are all positive facilita tors but there needs to be a more detailed focus that in the end can formulate a list of characteristics that promote accessibility to those students who can potentially and in reality can participate in walking or biking to school. Using the dimensional breakdown of urban design allowed a proper outline towards formulating the characteristics needed for a walkable community. Configurations of blocks and street networks as well as residential density can make up some of the main important aspects. Also school siting ordinances, concurrency, planning policies and anything relevant to the counties in school siting could be a determinant. Limitations of this Study This study focused on many different types of data and urban design characteristics primarily focusing on factors such as distance, safety and socio economic that was justified by the survey data taken. Aside from the analysis of the actual pedestrian numbers being use as the main source of dissevering the successful school sites from the unsuccess ful, the geospatial data was a perfect addition to the analysis in order to use the generalization of the density and socio economic factors to further give incentive towards a successful walkable community. However the data and survey data might not corre late in the correct years. For example, Census data was taken from the most recent (2012) shape file from FGDL whilst the actual survey data was collected back in 2007 and the early part of 2008 Also the occurrences of the pedestrian and bicycle crashes w ere reported and used in the study from 2006 to 2010 Even though this data might have varied if they were reported all within the same timeframe, the data is still able to show the conflicts and challenges within each school attendance zone (SAZ) affectin g the walkability The point of this information is to show
126 a generality of the kind of surrounding economic statu s as well as the additional hazardous condition points, usually involving major roadways or limited visibility roads. As for the survey data, the study only focusing on th e actual students that took part in the survey and not the total enrolled at the school. Some students could have not participated in the survey (specific reasons not stated whether student was absent, etc) so that may make the data slightly off. It appears that the students were geocoded from a list of registered students. Ideally each student surveyed at a particular school should be included somewhere in those points. Unfortunately there is no way to tell which of those point s took the survey. Ideally the total number of students in the GIS layer assigned to a school should not exceed the number of students who took the survey for that particular school. Additionally, t he survey data does not indicate which children walk to sc hool, especially if want to specifically look at ages or number of children within the same household who have the opportunity to walk together. We simply know the number of children that walk to a specific school. Thus, for example, you could have a child who lives very close that is driven to school and one that lives further from the school that walks. On the other hand, the literature strongly supports the idea that distance is the with any certainty which children walked and which did not collectively you can look at the ratio between the number of walkers and the potential for children to walk. Opportunities for Future Research The relation ship between income and the overall rate o f walkability has many different complexities. A comparison study between the student density and income density could be an interesting analysis especially since t here has already been some
127 evidence within this study that rates of income does not always p rovide basis for whether a child walks or bikes to school. This is also dependent upon the site development the school is surrounded by, whether a traditional neighborhood development or a more urban central location. It would also be interesting to analyz e income related to probability of walking to school. Generally literature suggests that only children who are from income families only walk or bike to school. This study slightly suggests in one of the selected schools that income does not play a role in suggesting how children get to school. Along with that, after dissevering the type of development the school site is located around, an interesting analysis would be student walkability rates towards other types of land use s (i.e. recreational centers, ma lls, playgrounds, etc. ) takin g into account variables such as safety, income, age and parental employment Most of t he school sites densely showed residential units as the primary surroun ding land use, but some provided variation within the one mile netwo rk sheds. Developing a connection between health statistics within surrounding land uses, suggesting that with changes and additions to businesses, parks and community sites there could be a variation in health amongst the residents living within network s heds. Lastly, d eveloping a design standard based on a concept like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) within the U.S. Green Building Council could potentially provide incentive for municipalities, designers, developers and contractors to initiate and produce sustainable environments for schools. Certain state and local level agencies within the United States already provide incentives including cost reductions, expedited permitting, tax credit and density bonuses, for projects that corre late with
128 sustainable building standards. It is important for future development to provide these types of promotional aspects so that there is an elimination of any future restrictive planning. This concept can be the foremost important type of promotion towards the development of healthy building standards and communities.
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133 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Angela Lynn Coullias is the daughter of Mi chael Coullias and Lynn McNulty, received her Master of Arts in urban and regional planning at the Univ ersity of Florida in 2013. B efore attending gradua te school she attained a Bachelor of Design majoring in architecture also at the University of Florida in 2007. During her undergraduate years, she had the opportunity to study abroad at the Vicenza Instit ute of Architecture in the fall of 2006 where she immediately became interested in European city infrastructure urban design and walkability. After graduating with her bachelor degree and b efore deciding to attend graduate school, she had the opportunity to work with an international engineering consulting firm as an archi tectural intern and designer. She had the opportunity to gain experience within the professional world of architecture, design and project consulting while also exploring sustainable des ign During her time in graduate school, her studies focused on urban design, land use planning and GIS within the realm of health and the built environment. Angela hopes that her future career will continue to focus o n smart growth revitalization plann ing and healthy communities pertaining to urban design in to help society and future generations continue to ac knowledge the importance of these aspects towards the longevity of city infrastructures and sustainability