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Perceptions of place impact behavior, thus health.
Think of specific places, like neighborhoods, sidewalks, and parks; specific physical activity behaviors like walking, playing, and biking; and specific health issues, like heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
Latino children often lack access-both real and perceived-to safe, available places to be physically active, thus their mental, physical, and emotional health suffer. Literature regarding inequity in places to walk and play and subsequent health disparities is continuously growing.
According to a new survey, perceptions of place also impact civic engagement.
The Center for Active Design (CfAD) analyzed data from the Soul of the Community survey to explore the relationship between qualities of place and civic engagement. Funded by the Knight Foundation and conducted by Gallup from 2008-2010 of over 15,000 adults across 26 U.S. communities, the Soul of the Community survey looks into four key qualities of place and associated behaviors and perceptions, which are organized into four civic engagement objectives.
Civic engagement develops the knowledge and skills to cultivate positive change on a social, environmental, and political level.
Coming full circle, place impacts health behaviors and civic engagement, and civic engagement impacts place.
“Talk to people you’ve never met, and say, ‘C’mon, let’s go do this. Let’s go change the world,’ ” President Barack Obama said to campaign workers about the need for engaged and active citizens.
Read about these Salud Heroes in San Antonio, TX got engaged to ensure they had safe sidewalks in their neighborhood, which will positively impact the health of the entire neighborhood as well as increase their capacity to remain engaged in their local social and political systems.
Also, read about these Salud Heroes in Chicago, Illinois got engaged to renovate a park and improve the soccer field.