DePaul Map of the Month


James Wong


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James Wong (Shizhi Huang) created this map in GEO 344 - GIS III: Spatial Analysis for Sustainability. The map combines a number of different techniques to explore the relationship between Chicago's green spaces and indicators of public health. Parks and open green space offer recreational and ecological benefits and are commonly regarded as elements of the urban environment that promote physical activity and reduce obesity risk. For this map, the amount of green space (vegetation) was extracted from from satellite image (LANDSAT-5, September 12, 2010) using a supervised classification method.

GIS spatial data analysis was then used to determine whether there is a relationship between the amount of green space and obesity among students enrolled in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) focusing on kindergarten, sixth grade or ninth grade in the 2010-11 school year.

In the United States, the estimated prevalence of age-adjusted obesity rates increased from 14.5% during 1976-1980 to 33.8% during 2007-2008 among people aged 20 years and older according to statistics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

A correlation analysis shows that the rates of green space in each community have a statistically significant relationship with the overweight or obesity rates in CPS. The Pearson’s correlation coefficient r is -.226 with the p-value .024. Overall, the average green space rate is 7.3% while the average prevalence rate of overweight or obesity is 43.3%. The map reveals that most of communities in the north-west and the west part of Chicago have low rate of green space and high rates of overweight or obese children. Other factors, such as crime or lack of access to public transit may may also contribute to negative health impacts in south side community areas such as Oakland, Washington Park and Greater Grand Crossing.


public health, chicago, obesity, park, green space

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