City planning -- Florida, Land use -- Florida -- Planning, Neighborhood planning -- Florida, Public health -- Florida, Social capital (Sociology) -- Florida


This research provides a confirmatory based analysis which begins with the planning concept of land use mix and explores its explanatory affect upon resident perceptions of their built environment in terms of proximity of recreation and retail destinations within their neighborhood public realm. This research further explores the resident’s potential inclination to access these destinations by non motorized active travel modes of walking or bicycling. This research examines the relationship between the propensity for active travel within the neighborhood public realm and levels of resident active engagement (walking and bicycling) and passive engagement (sitting on the front porch) in the neighborhood public realm. This research then examines the relationship between public realm engagement and levels of neighborhood social capital. There are two overarching types of community design patterns, the traditional design pattern, which generally provides higher levels of land use mix and the conventional suburban design pattern, which generally provides lower levels of land use mix (primarily single use). Since the end of World War II, virtually all of the Florida landscape has been developed with the conventional suburban design pattern. In the past ten years, several planning based initiatives have been undertaken by regional planning advocacy and academic organizations which examine differing outcomes associated with the implementation of traditional versus suburban design patterns. Specifically, these studies sought to understand how these different design patterns would translate into the development of existing undisturbed uplands and wetlands. Two major studies, the Penn Design Study (2004) sponsored by the University of Central Florida Metropolitan Center for Regional Studies and the “How Shall We Grow” (2006) study sponsored by in association with the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, provided scenarios associated with future growth outcomes over the next fifty years within the iii seven county Central Florida region. These study initiatives concluded that the conventional suburban pattern should no longer be implemented in order to reduce future adverse impacts to Florida’s environment. These studies supported the implementation of a more traditional pattern of growth, with its higher levels of compactness, mixed land uses and connectivity, as the preferred form of future land development. They demonstrated that traditional design forms would reduce the amount of impacted undeveloped land and also reduce the amount of public service costs associated with lower levels of compactness and land use mix. Although the aforementioned studies provide a very informative evaluation from an environmental perspective, they do not extend their differing potential growth scenarios to a “healthy communities” perspective. This research endeavors to begin to fill that gap through evidence based research using a confirmatory model approach that addresses relationships between phenomena that may be indicative of healthy communities. This study identifies the phenomena of outdoor neighborhood public realm engagement, primarily in the form of physical activity (walking and bicycling) and socializing in the public realm, and neighborhood level social capital, and their potential relationship with higher and lower levels of land use mix. This research posits a pathway mechanism, using structural equation modeling, to better grasp their possible relationships. This research seeks to add evidence based research to the public policy discussion pertaining to the type of future land development patterns that will be advocated by citizens and public policy makers by providing a fuller evaluative resource that includes a discussion of “healthy communities” in terms of outdoor physical activity and social interaction.


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Graduation Date





Korosec, Ronnie


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Public Affairs








Release Date

December 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs, Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic