Online Program

[session abstract] community wayfinding and public health: Relevance, research and promise

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.

Rebecca H. Hunter, MEd, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Ann Vandenberg, PhD, MPH, Center for Health in Aging, Department of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Lynda Anderson, PhD, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
William Satariano, PhD, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Steven P. Hooker, PhD, SNHP Exercise & Wellness, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Community wayfinding is the process whereby people use environmental information to locate and find their way within familiar and unfamiliar settings. Being able to find one's way from place to place is basic to all forms of active and passive transportation and may affect health-related behaviors such as walking and community engagement. This symposium examines the public health implications of wayfinding with the goal of increasing awareness of the pertinent environmental features, individual factors, user tools and technology, and individual-environment interaction that facilitate or inhibit community wayfinding. The presenters will introduce a cross-disciplinary conceptual framework on wayfinding building on established person-environmental models, summarize key findings from a scoping review of literature on community wayfinding, share results from a project examining community wayfinding in older adults, explore the emerging role of technology, and then highlight next steps for public health research and practice. Given our rapidly aging and functionally diverse population that might face distinctive challenges in wayfinding, this symposium is particularly timely and consequential because of the important role that public health researchers and practitioners can play in promoting wayfinding research, policies, and practice. Proposed papers in order of presentation: (1) A conceptual framework for community wayfinding (Abstract 281146), (2) Cross-disciplinary research perspectives on community wayfinding (Abstract 28835), (3) Community wayfinding in older adults: Findings from the Chicago wayfinding assessment project (Abstract 282423) (4) Tools and technologies in facilitating community wayfinding: Opportunities and challenges (Abstract 281833) (5) Community wayfinding: Pathways for public health policy and practice (Abstract 286642).

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Program planning
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain a conceptual framework of relationships among community wayfinding, mobility and societal participation. Analyze research evidence across diverse disciplines regarding community wayfinding and public health. Identify factors that enhance and detract from community wayfinding in diverse older adults. Discuss the role of tools and technology in facilitating community wayfinding in older adults and people with disabilities. Evaluate priorities for public health policy and practice to improve community wayfinding.

Keyword(s): Environment, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have provided leadership to the work of the CDC-Healthy Aging Research Network on the topic of community wayfinding over the past two years, contributing to all initiatives pertaining to the topic. In addition I have over a decade of experience in study of environmental issues affecting healthy aging and development of strategies for practice and policy improvement in this area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.