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Walkability & Health in China

Walkability – or the ability to conveniently, safely, comfortably, and pleasurably walk to everyday needs and amenities – has been increasingly tied to increased health, broadly defined to include not just physical and mental health, but also social, community, environmental and even fiscal health. While the US and other Western countries have begun to make strides to increase walkability and promote healthy placemaking, China continues to push forward car-centric urbanization and along with it rising rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and air pollution. Yet China has a huge opportunity - over 50 new cities, each with populations of over 1 million people, will be built in the next 20 years. The question is, will China stick to its auto-oriented, mega scale formula or adopt a human-scaled, pedestrian friendly form that enhances health?

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Walkability & Health in China

  1. 1. Mariela Alfonzo, Ph.D. Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, Shanghai, China Founder, State of Place™ Assistant Research Professor, NYU-Poly www.stateofplace.org ULI Shanghai, China March 6th, 2014 Walkability & Health in China #ULIWalkabilityWeek
  2. 2. ?
  3. 3. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% DENSITY FORM CONNECTIVITY PROXIMITY PARKS & PUBLIC SPACES RECREATIONAL FACILITIES PEDESTRIAN AMENITIES TRAFFIC SAFETY BICYCLE AMENITIES AESTHETICS PERSONAL SAFETY URBAN FABRIC DESTINATIONS HUMAN NEEDS & COMFORT LIVELINESS & UPKEEP State of Place™ Profile
  4. 4. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% DENSITY FORM CONNECTIVITY PROXIMITY PARKS & PUBLIC SPACES RECREATIONAL FACILITIES PEDESTRIAN AMENITIES TRAFFIC SAFETY BICYCLE AMENITIES AESTHETICS PERSONAL SAFETY URBAN FABRI C DESTINATIONS HUMAN NEEDS & COMFORT LIVELINESS & UPKEEP State of Place™ Profile
  5. 5. Density Building concentrations & height
  6. 6. Form Streetscape continuity
  7. 7. Connectivity Access, barriers, scale
  8. 8. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% DENSITY FORM CONNECTIVITY PROXIMITY PARKS & PUBLIC SPACES RECREATIONAL FACILITIES PEDESTRIAN AMENITIES TRAFFIC SAFETY BICYCLE AMENITIES AESTHETICS PERSONAL SAFETY URBAN FABRIC DESTINATIONS HUMAN NEEDS & COMFORT LIVELINESS & UPKEEP State of Place™ Profile
  9. 9. Proximity Mix of land uses
  10. 10. Parks & Public Space Parks, playgrounds, plazas
  11. 11. Recreational Facilities Gyms, fitness centers, outdoor recreation Photo Credit Bill Cotter
  12. 12. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% DENSITY FORM CONNECTIVITY PROXIMITY PARKS & PUBLIC SPACES RECREATIONAL FACILITIES PEDESTRIAN AMENITIES TRAFFIC SAFETY BICYCLE AMENITIES AESTHETICS PERSONAL SAFETY URBAN FABRIC DESTINATIONS HUMAN NEEDS & COMFORT LIVELINESS & UPKEEP State of Place™ Profile
  13. 13. Pedestrian Infrastructure & Amenities Curbcuts, sidewalk buffers, benches
  14. 14. Bicycle Infrastructure & Amenities Bicycle lanes, buffers, bike racks
  15. 15. Traffic Safety Traffic signals, speed limit, traffic calming
  16. 16. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% DENSITY FORM CONNECTIVITY PROXIMITY PARKS & PUBLIC SPACES RECREATIONAL FACILITIES PEDESTRIAN AMENITIES TRAFFIC SAFETY BICYCLE AMENITIES AESTHETICS PERSONAL SAFETY URBAN FABRIC DESTINATIONS HUMAN NEEDS & COMFORT LIVELINESS & UPKEEP State of Place™ Profile
  17. 17. Aesthetics Pleasurability, maintenance
  18. 18. Personal Safety Graffiti, litter, windows with bars
  19. 19. ?
  20. 20. Walkability
  21. 21. Walkability
  22. 22. 1986 2009 SHAREOF TRIPSBYBIKE housing construction18B SQ M 2000 – = 5M 2014 1982 = 3,428 1990 – 2004 BUILT OUT AREA DENSITY Communities 162% 67% 80% 2007 GATE D
  23. 23. 12% DIABETES IN CHINA 2013 1% 1980 50% 2013 PRE- DIABETES
  24. 24. 2004 2010 EMISSION S per capitaCHINA’ SEMISSION RATE 1/3TO P of emitters AIR POLLUTION IN 2010 RESPONSIBLE FOR 1.2 Million DEATHS 8 YOUNGEST LUNG CANCER PATIENT ON RECORD YR S OL
  25. 25. $18.3B INCOME LOSS of HEART DISEASE, STROKE & DIABETES IN CHINA due to IN 2005 ALONE RESIDEN TS 2.5B 500M YRS LIFE EXPECTANCY IN 2009 9 GROS S NATIONA L DUE TO ENVIRONMENTALLOSS
  26. 26. State of Place Index: 90, Very High Walkability State of Place Index: 5, Very Low
  27. 27. + $36 sq ft Office Rents + $28 sq ft Retail Rents +80% Retail Revenues + $1200/Unit Residential Rent +$324 sq ft For-sale Residential Value
  28. 28. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% DENSITY FORM CONNECTIVITY PROXIMITY PARKS & PUBLIC SPACES RECREATIONAL FACILITIES PEDESTRIAN AMENITIES TRAFFIC SAFETY BICYCLE AMENITIES AESTHETICS PERSONAL SAFETY State of Place™ ProfileROI HighLowMedium
  29. 29. U.S. In last decade CHINA has added 2/3 of population will have Chinese cities221 over 1 million ppl By 2025 CHINA NEEDS 170 new mass-transit 5B new sq.m. of roads 40B new sq.m. of floor space
  30. 30. Shanghai Walk & Talks: www.meetup.com/shanghai-walk-talks www.stateofplace.org #ULIWalkabilityWeek

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