Online Program

Cross-disciplinary research perspectives on community wayfinding

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Anna Vandenberg, PhD, MPH, Center for Health in Aging, Department of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Rebecca H. Hunter, MEd, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Lynda Anderson, PhD, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Lucinda L. Bryant, PhD, MSHA, Colorado School of Public Health, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO
Steven P. Hooker, PhD, SNHP Exercise & Wellness, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
William Satariano, PhD, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Mariko Toyoji, Dept of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Part of symposium, Community Wayfinding and Public Health: Relevance, Research and Promise (Session Abstract # 279818). This presentation by the CDC Healthy Aging Research Network provides a scoping review and synthesis of the existing literature on community wayfinding from the relevant fields of cognitive psychology, architecture, urban planning, and engineering, ascertaining key lines of investigation, evidence and evidence gaps, and implications for public health. To date, community wayfinding has received little attention in public health literature, despite its relevance to public health concerns such as neighborhood walkability, community engagement, pedestrian and motor vehicle safety, air quality, transportation, and social equity. Whether walking, cycling, driving, or using public transit, people depend on aids and cues in the environment to guide them to their destinations and return them to points of origin. Under poor wayfinding circumstances (e.g., in the absence of signs or distinctive design elements), or when individuals have conditions that compromise their wayfinding abilities (visual or cognitive impairments), the risk of becoming confused, creating a safety hazard, or getting lost is increased. The review covers environmental features, individual factors, user tools, and individual-environment interaction that facilitate community wayfinding. Particular attention is directed to wayfinding in special needs populations.

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:
Analyze research evidence across diverse disciplines regarding community wayfinding and public health

Keyword(s): Environment, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As one of the three leaders of the CDC Healthy Aging Research Network's Community Wayfinding Concept Development Project, I helped initiate, develop, and manage the project, leading the team engaged in this literature review and overseeing the development of a manuscript for the field of public health. I am a social science researcher with credentials in public health and gerontology.
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.