Using the built-in capabilities of mobile devices, the Stanford Healthy Neighborhood Discovery Tool tracks users’ walking routes and allows residents to geographically tag hazardous locations, linking them with the users’ audio narratives and photographs. This crowd-sourced information can then be used to notify city planners about things that need to be fixed and improved, such as poorly lit walkways and unsafe crosswalks. In addition to the tool, the researchers have created guidelines for teaching residents and grassroots organizations how to persuasively communicate these community needs to city planners.
The software tool allows community advocates to document impediments to a neighborhood’s walkability, safety and access to healthy food by using tablet computers. It was among six projects to win an excellence award from the Center for Active Design.
The lead researcher of the project, Sandra Winter, PhD, a research associate with the Stanford Prevention Research Center, has coordinated the pilot testing of the tool for use in rural and urban environments, and with older adults and adolescents. The tool’s interface has been translated into Spanish and Hebrew, and these versions have been used by researchers from National Institute of Public Health in Mexico and by a partnership in Israel between the University of Haifa and the Association for Planning and Development of Services for the Aged.
Click Here to read the entire story from Kris Newby; Communications Manager for Spectrum, the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education.