From Active Living to Healthy Planning: Rethinking the Role of Urban Planning in Reducing Obesity.
Abstract: In recent years, rising rates of obesity in the United States have
generated concerns about the impact of the built environment on obesity. These concerns
spurred community-based obesity interventions that center on land use, transportation, and
urban design to increase physical activity and thereby reduce obesity. This thesis seeks to
understand the role of planners in reducing obes... read moreity, specifically through planning physical
activity environments. Public health and urban planning literature demonstrate the
challenges in reducing obesity through urban planning and form the basis of inquiry for
this research. This thesis suggests that there are challenges in the planning process that
make it difficult to reduce obesity. Second, this thesis argues that the tools needed to
address obesity are different in low-income urban communities than in higher income
suburbs. Ultimately, this thesis urges planners to mobilize against the fundamental causes
of disease by taking a more contextualized approach to addressing obesity.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.
Advisors: Barbara Parmenter, and Christine Cousineau.
Keywords: Urban Planning, Environmental Health, and Public Health.read less