Enhancing Walk Score's walk index to facilitate predicting health-based outcomes of active transportation -- Phase 2

The Foundation's Active Living Research program was designed to support investigator-initiated research to identify and assess structural, environmental, and policy changes with the potential to increase population levels of physical activity.Phase I of this project is a one-region pilot to test and enhance the walk index values derived through the website Walk Score (www.walkscore.com). Investigators will compare the currently available and an enhanced road-network based walk-score index with their own parcel-based walkability measures in the Seattle region (King County, Washington). This first phase will demonstrate the ability to develop an internet-based enhancement to Walk Score to more accurately measure access to destinations from specific addresses within the U.S. Phase II (forthcoming) will take this research steps further by making a fully operational web interface with the capacity to calculate and provide network based walk-scores. Phase II will also further validate the enhanced network based walk-score values against health outcome data in three regions of the nation (Seattle, Baltimore, and San Diego). The two phases of this project will further develop and validate results from the Walk Score website as a broadly available source of walkability data which have been empirically demonstrated to be associated with various physical activity/obesity outcomes. Such improvements will be beneficial to researchers, planners and the general public. All policy-related communications will be created in collaboration with RWJF communications staff and consultants. No RWJF funds will be used for lobbying purposes.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $144,999.00

Awarded on: 5/11/2011

Time frame: 5/15/2011 - 11/14/2012

Grant Number: 69026


Urban Design 4 Health, Inc.

353 Rockingham Street
Rochester, 14620-2515


Lawrence Douglas Frank
Project Director