Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2017

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

John Steward, M.P.H.

Second Advisor

Dr. Dajun Dai

Abstract

A MASTERS OF PUBLIC HEALTH CAPSTONE PROJECT:

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS ANALYSIS OF WALKABILITY DATA FOR

THE ATLANTA BELTLINE COMMUNITIES

By

MICHALE HAIA KANCHIK

July 21, 2017

INTRODUCTION: As a means of combating the growing obesity epidemic in the United States, public health experts are promoting the building of walkable communities. Using walkability data initially collected for the CDC’s Atlanta Beltline Project, this study will examine select features of the built environment and their relationship to active people. This capstone is seeking to explore factors present in the built environment that are related to physical activity

AIM: Using the Atlanta Beltline Project’s segment-level walkability data, this capstone will aim to deliver a micro-scale analysis of pedestrian walkability features. The author believes that completing a spatial analysis of the data, will allow developing a tangible product that will further enhance and benefit the works of the CDC’s Atlanta Beltline Project. In addition, by utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS), this capstone hopes to deliver valuable information on the physical environments and walkability patterns that most currently portray Atlanta Beltline segments.

METHODS: Methods used in this study include an extensive review of existing literature, descriptive analysis of environmental attributes, mapping, and spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology.

RESULTS: Overall, Atlanta Beltline segments with a bus stop exhibited the highest presence of active people (26.3 percent). Beltline segments that had broken/boarded windows/vacant buildings/homes demonstrated the second highest presence of active people (21.21 percent). Streets with trees for shade had the lowest presence for active people (17.99 percent). Substantial differences in the presences of active people were found when making a comparison between the control (Westside) and experimental (Southside) Beltline communities. Study findings are all based on the descriptive nature of the analysis performed, and as a result, do not intend to demonstrate statistical significance.

DISCUSSION: Study findings indicate that the presence of certain built environment features may promote walkability along the Atlanta Beltline communities.

INDEX WORDS: walkability indicators, built environment, walkable communities, the Atlanta Beltline, audit instruments, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Available for download on Saturday, July 28, 2018

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