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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 834; doi:10.3390/ijerph14080834

Schools, Air Pollution, and Active Transportation: An Exploratory Spatial Analysis of Calgary, Canada

1
Department of Geography, University of Calgary, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
2
Alberta Health Services, Calgary, AB T2W 3N2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 23 July 2017 / Published: 25 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Modelling for Public Health Research)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7476 KB, uploaded 25 July 2017]   |  

Abstract

An exploratory spatial analysis investigates the location of schools in Calgary (Canada) in relation to air pollution and active transportation options. Air pollution exhibits marked spatial variation throughout the city, along with distinct spatial patterns in summer and winter; however, all school locations lie within low to moderate pollution levels. Conversely, the study shows that almost half of the schools lie in low walkability locations; likewise, transitability is low for 60% of schools, and only bikability is widespread, with 93% of schools in very bikable locations. School locations are subsequently categorized by pollution exposure and active transportation options. This analysis identifies and maps schools according to two levels of concern: schools in car-dependent locations and relatively high pollution; and schools in locations conducive of active transportation, yet exposed to relatively high pollution. The findings can be mapped and effectively communicated to the public, health practitioners, and school boards. The study contributes with an explicitly spatial approach to the intra-urban public health literature. Developed for a moderately polluted city, the methods can be extended to more severely polluted environments, to assist in developing spatial public health policies to improve respiratory outcomes, neurodevelopment, and metabolic and attention disorders in school-aged children. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial analysis; air pollution; active transportation; walkability; schools; children; proximity; public health; GIS (geographic information systems); Calgary spatial analysis; air pollution; active transportation; walkability; schools; children; proximity; public health; GIS (geographic information systems); Calgary
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bertazzon, S.; Shahid, R. Schools, Air Pollution, and Active Transportation: An Exploratory Spatial Analysis of Calgary, Canada. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 834.

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