Walk Riverside Results to be Presented April 9

Study suggests how to transform older neighborhoods into walkable communities

Juliann Allison and Nancy Jimeno

Juliann Emmons Allison (left) and Nancy Jimeno will present results from the Walk Riverside project on April 9.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Results of a UC Riverside study to promote walkable neighborhoods in Riverside will be presented on Thursday, April 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the UCR College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), 1084 Columbia Ave., Riverside.

The presentation, “Walk Riverside: Community-based Planning for Sustainable Lifestyles,” is free and open to the public. It is part of the Randall Lewis Seminar Series presented by the UCR Center for Sustainable Suburban Development (CSSD).

Juliann Emmons Allison, CSSD associate director, and Nancy Jimeno, a lecturer at CSU Fullerton, will present their findings from the Walk Riverside project that began in 2013. Walk Riverside is a CSSD research project aimed at making neighborhoods less reliant on cars for shopping and other activities.

The center received $227,000 of a $250,000, two-year grant the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) awarded the Riverside County Transportation Commission in 2013. UC Riverside researchers worked with the transportation commission, the city of Riverside and the Riverside County Department of Public Health to produce walkability plans for the Arlington and Ramona neighborhoods.

Walkability plans follow the concept of new urbanism, a form of development that improves public health through planning and urban design by integrating shopping and housing in a pedestrian-friendly environment. Increasing walkability helps reduce automobile usage. These plans can include many facets of new urbanism, including usable public transit, wider sidewalks, reduced or slowed vehicular traffic, and local investment to integrate businesses into neighborhoods.

“Walkability is the centerpiece of affordable and equitable ground transportation,” the researchers wrote in the project’s executive summary. “Walkable communities provide well-maintained sidewalks, paths and other means of physical access to a sufficiently diverse set of places that people can fulfill their daily and weekly needs within a 15- minute walk from home. They facilitate social interaction and physical fitness, improve local economies and reduce crime, and support overall wellness and sustainability.”

Allison, whose research in the last decade has focused on urban planning issues, said the team’s recommendations will suggest ways “to move from a traditional suburban neighborhood to a sustainable one and will become the template for other communities.”

Allison is the principal investigator for the CSSD’s portion of the project. She is an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies and public policy. Her research and teaching interests emphasize political economy, environmental politics and policy, and community-based social change, especially as it relates to the gendered dimensions of environmental sustainability and conflict resolution.

Nancy Jimeno, who earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science at UCR, is a lecturer in American government and California politics at CSU Fullerton. Her research interest in the role of land use decision-making for improving the quality of life in communities derives from her experiences as a fifth-generation southern Californian who has experienced unsettling changes associated with the state’s rapid growth.

The Center for Sustainable Suburban Development explores the social, economic, political and environmental impacts that population growth and movement has on cities and local communities. The center facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations in the community through its staff and affiliated faculty via research, joint conferences, workshops and public forums held at UCR and in the community. It is affiliated with the UCR School of Public Policy.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Juliann Allison
E-mail: juliann.allison@ucr.edu

Ron Redfern
Tel: (951) 750-4976
E-mail: iR3.rredfern@gmail.com

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