St. Vincent Greenway Evaluation

Project Dates: 2012-2013

The St. Vincent Greenway is a bike and pedestrian-friendly path that will eventually connect the University of Missouri -St. Louis and North St. Louis County with Forest Park. The goal of the project is to evaluate the extension of the greenway in the West End neighborhood for its influence on sustainability and health behaviors.

This project is designed to help build the evidence base for a policy solution to improve sustainability and public health. Creating or enhancing access to places for physical activity and land-use policies that encourage physical activity are recommended policy strategies for addressing chronic disease; however, little is known about the specific role greenways and trails play in increasing rates of PA and fostering healthy, sustainable cities. Evaluation of the St. Vincent Greenway will add to the evidence base of policy strategies addressing chronic disease prevention and community well-being through the promotion of physical activity. Moreover, this project will look specifically at the impact of such a policy on populations at increased risk for chronic disease morbidity and mortality.

Project Goals

  • To evaluate the extension of the St. Vincent Greenway in an underserved area of St. Louis City for factors influencing sustainability
  • To evaluate the extension of the greenway on factors related to childhood obesity
  • To explore the use of various auditing and survey tools for evaluation of greenways

Implications for Research and Practice

Provide Great Rivers Greenway and other greenway developers with information on appropriate tools and processes to evaluate the impact of greenways on sustainability and health behaviors; inform policy for future development of greenways to support sustainability and chronic disease prevention.

Project Contact

Elizabeth Dodson: edodson@wustl.edu

Project Staff

Principal Investigators:J. Aaron Hipp, PhD, and Elizabeth Dodson, PhD

Co-Investigator: Patty Heyda, AIA.

Research Assistants: Marissa Zwald, MPH; Nora Geary, MSW, MPH; and Leslie Duling, MSW, MPH.

Project Partners

Lonny Boring at Great Rivers Greenway

Funding Sources

ICARES: 1660-94758A

Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity: 2001656847