The inaccessibility of elementary schools in Fulton County causes, consequences, and alternatives
Smith, Sarah M.
MetadataShow full item record
Everyone understands that elementary schools in suburban areas are inaccessible and poorly sited. A compelling conclusion from this thesis is that only 12% of the approximately 40,000 elementary school children in Fulton County, Georgia, the focus of this study, are able to walk to school, given the school location and siting. Clearly, school location is a critical impediment for walkability, which is an emerging focus of public health. Three guiding questions are posed to explore the causes and consequences of elementary school inaccessibility. First, what influences the selection and design of elementary school sites in suburban locations? Second, what is the specific evidence that demonstrates inaccessibility? Third, what actions can be taken to address the problem? Schools located in Fulton County, Georgia are the subject of this thesis because Fulton County is typical of most suburban areas, in that the housing patterns are characterized by low density, cul-de-sac type development, large block size, and are designed with an assumption of total reliance on automobiles. Fifty-three elementary schools are included in this study. Recommendations and strategies are provided to correct the problems in existing schools to make them more accessible. The conclusions and recommendations follow the analysis and strategies are offered at three scales of analysis.