Suburban Neighborhood Design for Physical Activity

Introduction

Seeing that the target neighborhood can be identified as suburbia, tract housing can be viewed as the key feature of the area under analysis. Most of the elements are located in very close proximity to each other, therefore, leaving very little space in between. The houses mentioned above are located on the sides of a road with rather thick traffic. While there are rather few traffic jams occurring on a daily basis in the specified region, the vehicles still move in a rather slow manner, mainly because of the precaution measures aimed at reducing the number of road accidents. Despite the fact that the spacing in the structure of the residential community could be interpreted as rather claustrophobic, the neighborhood allows for a variety of activities for children, at the same time preventing accidents due to the lack of potentially dangerous objects.

Main body

The zoning of the key areas seems to have been carried out with major success, as no consolidation between the playing fields and schools has occurred in the specified neighborhood. It should be noted, though, that the existence of the areas in question (i.e., the playgrounds and parks, where children can play games and engage in other types of activities) makes the transportation costs rather high, seeing that the children have to be taken to the designated venues by bus because of the “long-term transportation costs of more children being driven or bussed to school and activities” (Fenton, 2012, p. 47). As a result, the cost of living in the area is rather high.

In addition, the fact that the density of the urban building is very high in the area in question can be regarded as negative from the perspective of the possibility for physical activity for children within the housing in question. Specifically, children are unable to use any kind of easily available personal vehicles (skateboards, roller skates, etc.) in the specified housing design due to the lack of space mentioned above deserves to be mentioned. It should be noted, though, that the unavailability of space for engaging in-game and the related activities can be viewed as an opportunity to make the life of the children in the area more secure and preventing an accident. The simple grid system, which the buildings are arranged in, also allows for enhancing the security system, though clearly preventing children and teenagers from engaging in a physical activity fully.

Speaking of which, the area under analysis clearly lacks the tracks, which can be used for riding bicycles and similar kinds of transport. Although the area is rather close, the fact that the road is located in the vicinity shows that children, who use bicycles and other types of personal transportation face a major threat. Finally, the safety issue, which the community in question obviously has, needs to be brought up. While the community seems to be well aware of the key road regulations, the lack of countdown timers on pedestrian signals is obviously a threat to the wellbeing of the local residents.

The aforementioned design helps incorporate physical activity into the daily life of children and teenagers by creating the areas that are designed for the activities in question. As a result, children see physical activity as an opportunity to engage in the games that they cannot enjoy in their home environment; as a result, when reaching the playground, children and teenagers become especially active.

Conclusion

Although featuring the areas that have seemingly little space, the neighborhood in question can be considered as rather safe. The lack of countdown signals for pedestrians and the track for people riding bikes, though, can be viewed as a major dent in the safety of the community. Therefore, a redesign of the local infrastructure must take place as soon as possible.

Reference List

Fenton, M. (2012). Community design and policies for free-range children: creating environments that support routine physical activity. Childhood Obesity, 8(1), 44–51.