GIS Resource Center for Cancer Research

Neighborhood Characteristics

Characteristics of the neighborhoods in which people live, work, and go to school are an important element of spatial context. Neighborhoods can have a strong influence on people's ability to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including their ability to get adequate exercise, eat healthy foods, and avoid the use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.

  • Exercise - Spatial context factors include neighborhood walkability and access to parks.
  • Healthy Diet - Spatial context factors include access to healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Tobacco Use - Spatial context factors include the presence or absence of smoke free policies and the proximity of tobacco outlets to schools.
  • Drug and Alcohol Use - Spatial context factors include crime rates and the prevalence of risky sexual behavior.

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