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Abstract

As the United States and other nations strive to cope with the obesity epidemic (NCHS, 2015), progressive communities are developing sidewalk infrastructure to promote physical activity and health. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that community-based interventions like neighborhood walk, bike programs etc. have shown to be effective in promoting physical activity and health. Smart cities are embracing the development of community trails and promoting their use to increase physical activity among youth and adults. System implementation, data collection, and analysis were performed from January 2015 through July 2015. To promote these objectives, communities and cities need accurate information on the location of sidewalks, interconnectedness, accessibility, condition and gaps in the sidewalk network vis-à-vis other transportation networks, community centers, schools, and physical activity locations. This paper presents the application of a crowd-sourced platform to address the need to collect, maintain information on the location, condition, connectedness, and gaps in the sidewalk network. The work presented here is a result of a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project entitled MySidewalk™, funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), US Department of Transportation (DOT). The MySidewalk™ app is currently being piloted at communities like College Station and the Houston-Galveston area in Texas, and will be rolled out across the nation in the next phase.

The Practical Applications: "MySidewalk™ (Research, 2015) app will provide inputs for the smart cities and local governments to strategically plan for critical infrastructure programs (CIP) necessary to develop a community that promotes physical activity and community health.