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Center for Adolescent Health


Project Profiles

Johns Hopkins University

Unfortunately safe and accessible play places are often lacking in under-resourced communities. Play Streets (temporary closure of streets) are an understudied intervention that provide safe places for children to be physically active, especially in places that lack access to safe parks and playgrounds. This project involves working with World Sports Chicago, who have been implementing Play Streets in various Chicago neighborhoods since 2012, with funding from the Chicago Department of Public Health. This project will examine city-level organizational level factors that support the implementation of Chicago Play Streets; examine existing qualitative and quantitative data from 2012-2017 provided to World Sports Chicago by their Play Streets neighborhood-level implementation partners; and select 4-6 World Sports Chicago implementation partners and examine key organizational characteristics that support successful implementation and sustainability. 

University of Arizona

This project explores perceptions of walkability and barriers to active transportation in Tuscon, Arizona's Mexican American neighborhoods with specific aims of understanding 1) how policies and design strategies can be effectively implemented to increase rates of walking, perceptions of safety and comfort, and community support; 2) whether standard measures of walkability are appropriate in the socio-economic context of our study neighborhoods; and 3) the effectiveness of strategies for engaging disenfranchised communities in walkability related planning and policy interventions.

University of Rochester

This project aims to implement a group medical visit to promote physical activity, delivered by primary care and community partners in a federally qualified health center in Rochester, NY. We plan to assess the effectiveness of the intervention on increasing frequency and duration of physical activity among underserved adults as well as improving cardio-respiratory fitness and biometric measurements. Additionally, we are looking at the role of policy determinants on mediating the intervention’s effectiveness and outcomes at the institutional, local and national levels.

University of Massachusetts Worcester

The project utilized an Expert Panel process to define capabilities for local health officials in local built environment policy process, specifically transportation and land use. An online survey then assessed experience of local health officials from across the U.S. in these areas, as well as training and technical assistance needs, to inform a future PAPRN+ study to develop and pilot test approaches aimed at improving physical activity/walking-related policy participation. The team is doing wide dissemination of the capabilities and planning for intervention.

University of Illinois at Chicago

This project is examining the role that progressive-oriented zoning, land use, and Smart Growth policies may have in facilitating community walkability and adult walking behaviors. The project will involve an in-depth evaluation of the walkability-orientation of zoning, land use and SmartGrowth policies in 10 large and 10 small, southern jurisdictions in the U.S. and constructing corresponding measures of community walkability using GIS and Google Earth/Street View aerial photos to determine the level of policy implementation.