Title

The Impact of a University's Presence on Neighborhood Walkability

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Sociology

Presentation Type

Mentored

Abstract

Neighborhood walkability is the general quality of amenities within a neighborhood, such as the presence of sidewalks and facilities like grocery stores. Walkability has been shown to be linked to the health outcomes of residents, with higher walkability allowing for better outcomes. This study was conducted to examine how much a university may affect this through using resources that could otherwise be used to create consistent positive walkability throughout the city. For this research, three universities and their surrounding areas were chosen based on being urban, suburban, or rural: Tulane University in New Orleans; The University of Notre Dame in South Bend; and Cornell University in Ithaca respectively. Within each, two additional neighborhoods were chosen, one diverse neighborhood and one homogenous minority neighborhood. Since research could not be conducted in-person, Google Earth and its street view function were used to assess walkability, which was itself assessed using the Delaware Walkability Assessment Tool (which rated walkability on a scale of 1 to 6 with 1 being the best and 6 being the worst). This research found that both the urban and suburban areas had more inconsistency, with the university having the highest walkability and the minority neighborhood having the lowest. However, in Ithaca the results were more consistent and the minority neighborhood had the highest score. These results, sans Ithaca, seem to support the idea that universities use up resources in an area. With these in mind, universities may need to work with their surrounding neighborhoods for equitable resources.

Location

HSS 210

Start Date

4-2-2022 12:00 PM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Apr 2nd, 12:00 PM

The Impact of a University's Presence on Neighborhood Walkability

HSS 210

Neighborhood walkability is the general quality of amenities within a neighborhood, such as the presence of sidewalks and facilities like grocery stores. Walkability has been shown to be linked to the health outcomes of residents, with higher walkability allowing for better outcomes. This study was conducted to examine how much a university may affect this through using resources that could otherwise be used to create consistent positive walkability throughout the city. For this research, three universities and their surrounding areas were chosen based on being urban, suburban, or rural: Tulane University in New Orleans; The University of Notre Dame in South Bend; and Cornell University in Ithaca respectively. Within each, two additional neighborhoods were chosen, one diverse neighborhood and one homogenous minority neighborhood. Since research could not be conducted in-person, Google Earth and its street view function were used to assess walkability, which was itself assessed using the Delaware Walkability Assessment Tool (which rated walkability on a scale of 1 to 6 with 1 being the best and 6 being the worst). This research found that both the urban and suburban areas had more inconsistency, with the university having the highest walkability and the minority neighborhood having the lowest. However, in Ithaca the results were more consistent and the minority neighborhood had the highest score. These results, sans Ithaca, seem to support the idea that universities use up resources in an area. With these in mind, universities may need to work with their surrounding neighborhoods for equitable resources.